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E. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. T. E. PAGE, utt.d. 
W. H. D. ROUSE, LiTT.D. 








W. R. M. LAMB, M.A. 






APR 3 1950 

Printed in Great Britain. 


The Greek text in this volume is based on the 
recension of Sehanz, except in the cases of the Minos 
and the Epinomis, where it follows in the main the 
text of C F.Hermann. Emendations accepted from 
modem scholars are noted as they occur. 

The special introductions are intended merely to 
prepare the reader for the general character and 
purpose of each dialogue. 

W. R. M. Lamb. 






ALCIBIADE8 I ..... . 






THE LOVERS ...... 


THEAGE8 ....... 


MINOS ....... 

. 385 

EPINOMIS ....... 





Plato was bom in 427 b.c. of Athenian parents who 
could pro\'ide him with the best education of the 
day, and ample means and leisure throughout his life. 
He came to manhood in the dismal close of the 
Peloponnesian War, when Aristophanes was at the 
height of his success, and Sophocles and Euripides 
had produced their last plays. As a boy he doubtless 
heard the lectures of Gorgias, Protagoras, and other 
sophists, and his early bent seems to have been 
towards poetry. But his intelligence was too pro- 
gressive to rest in the agnostic position on which 
the sophistic culture was based. A century before, 
Heracleitus had declared knowledge to be impossible, 
because the objects of sense|are|continually changing ; 
yet now a certain Cratylus was trying to build a 
theory of knowledge over the assertion of flux, by 
developing some hints let fall by its oracular author 
about the truth contained in names. From this 
influence Plato passed into contact with Socrates, 
whose character and gifts have left a singular impress 
on the thought of mankind. This effect is almost 
whoUy due to Plato's apphcations and extensions of 


his master's thought ; since, fortunately for us, the 
pupil not only became a teacher in his turn, but 
brought his artistic genius into play, and composed 
the memorials of philosophic talk which we know 
as the Dialogues. Xenophon, Antisthenes, and 
Aeschines were other disciples of Socrates who drew 
similar sketches of his teaching : the suggestion 
came from the " mimes " of the Syracusan Sophron, 
— realistic studies of conversation between ordinary 
types of character. As Plato became more engrossed 
in the Socratic speculations, this artistic impulse 
was strengthened by the desire of recording each 
definite stage of thought as a basis for new discussion 
and advance. 

When Plato was twenty years old, Socrates was 
over sixty, and had long been notorious in Athens 
for his peculiar kind of sophistry. In the Phaedo he 
tells how he tried, in his youth, the current scientific 
explanations of the universe, and found them full of 
puzzles. He then met with the theory of Anax- 
agoras, — that the cause of everything is " mind." 
This was more promising : but it led nowhere after 
all, since it failed to rise above the conception of 
physical energy ; this " mind " showed no intelligent 
aim. Disappointed of an assurance that the universe 
works for the best, Socrates betook himself to the 
plan of making definitions of " beautiful," " good," 
" large," and so on, as qualities observed in the several 
classes of beautiful, good and large material things, 
and then employing these propositions, if they 


appeared to be sound, for the erection of higher 
hjrpotheses. The point is that he made a new science 
out of a recognized theory of " ideas " or " forms," 
which had come of reflecting on the quality predicated 
when we say " this man is good," and which postu- 
lates some sure reality behind the fleeting objects 
of sense. His " hypothetical " method, famiUar to 
mathematicians, attains its full reach and significance 
in the Republic. 

The Pythagoreans who appear in the intimate 
scene of the Phaedo were accustomed to the theory 
of ideas, and were a fit audience for the highest 
reasonings of Socrates on the true nature of life and 
the soul. For some years before the master's death 
(399 B.C.) Plato, if not a member of their circle, was 
often a spell-bound hearer of the " satyr." But 
ordinary Athenians had other \-iews of Socrates, which 
varied according to their age and the extent of their 
acquaintance with him. Aristophanes' burlesque in 
the Clouds (423 B.C.) had left a common impression 
not unhke Avhat we have of the King of Laputa. Yet 
the young men who had any frequent speech with 
him in his later years, while they felt there was 
something uncanny about him, found an irresistible 
attraction in his simple manner, his humorous insight 
into their ways and thoughts, and his fervent elo- 
quence on the principles of their actions and careers. 
He kept no school, and took no fees ; he distrusted 
the pretensions of the regular sopliists, with whom 
he was carelessly confounded ; moreover, he professed 


to have no knowledge himself, except so far as to 
know that he was ignorant. The earliest Dialogues, 
such as the Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Charmides, 
Laches, and Lysis, show the manner in which he 
performed his ministry. In rousing men, especially 
those whose minds were fresh, to the need of knowing 
themselves, he promoted the authority of the intellect, 
the law of definite individual knowledge, above all 
reason of state or tie of party ; and it is not sur- 
prising that his city, in the effort of recovering her 
political strength, decided to hush such an in- 
convenient voice. He must have foreseen his fate, 
but he continued his work undeterred. 

Though he seems, in his usual talk, to have 
professed no positive doctrine, there were one or 
two behefs which he frequently declared. Virtue, 
he said, is knowledge ; for each man's good is his 
happiness, and once he knows it clearly, he needs 
must choose to ensue it. Further, this knowledge 
is innate in our minds, and we only need to have it 
awakened and exercised by " dialectic," or a system- 
atic course of question and answer. He also be- 
lieved his mission to be divinely ordained, and 
asserted that his own actions were guided at times 
by the prohibitions of a " spiritual sign." He was 
capable, as we find in the Symposium, of standing in 
rapt meditation at any moment for some time, and 
once for as long as twenty-four hours. 

It is clear that, if he claimed no comprehensive 
theory of existence, and although his ethical reliance 


on knowledge, if he never analysed it, leaves him in 
a very crude stage of psychology, his logical and 
mystical suggestions must have led his favoiu-ite 
pupils a good way towards a new system of meta- 
physics. These intimates learnt, as they steeped 
their minds in his, and felt the growth of a unique 
affection amid the glow of enlightenment, that 
happiness may be elsewhere than in our deahngs 
^\^th the material world, and that the mind has 
prerogatives and duties far above the sphere of civic 

After the death of Socrates in 399j Plato spent 
some twelve years in study and travel. For the 
first part of this time he was perhaps at Megara, 
where Eucleides, his fellow-student and fidend, was 
forming a school of dialectic. Here he may have 
composed some of the six Dialogues already men- 
tioned as recording Socrates' actiWty in Athens. 
Towards and probably beyond the end of this period, 
in order to present the Socratic method in bolder 
conflict with sophistic education, he ^vrote the 
Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus, and Gorgias. These 
works show a much greater command of dramatic 
and hterary art, and a deeper interest in logic. The 
last of them may well be later than 387, the year in 
which, after an all but disastrous attempt to better 
the mind of Dionysius of Syracuse, he returned to 
Athens, and, now forty years of age, founded the 
Academy ; where the memory of his master was to 
be perpetuated by continuing and expanding the 


Socratic discussions among the elect of the new. 
generation. The rivalry of this private college with 
the professional school of Isocrates is discernible 
in the subject and tone of the Gorgias. Plato 
carried on the direction of the Academy till his 
death, at eighty-one, in 346 ; save that half-way 
through this period (367) he accepted the invitation 
of his friend Dion to undertake the instruction of the 
younger Dionysius at Syracuse. The elder tyrant 
had been annoyed by the Socratic freedom of Plato's 
talk : now it was a wayward youth who refused the 
yoke of a systematic training. What that training 
was Uke we see in the Republic, where true political 
wisdom is approached by an arduous ascent through 
mathematics, logic, and metaphysics. Plato returned, 
with less hopes of obtaining the ideal ruler, to make 
wonderful conquests in the realm of thought. 

The Meno and Gorgias set forth the doctrine that 
knowledge of right is latent in our minds : dialectic, 
not the rhetoric of the schools, is the means of 
eliciting it. The method, as Plato soon perceived, 
must be long and difficult ; but he felt a mystical 
rapture over its certainty, which led him to picture 
the immutable " forms " as existing in a world of 
their own. This feeling, and the conviction whence 
it springs — that knowledge is somehow possible, had 
come to the front of his mind when he began to 
know Socrates. Two brilliant compositions, the 
Cratylus and Symposium, display the strength of the 
conviction, and then, the noble fervour of the 


feeling. In the latter of these works, the highest 
powers of imaginative sympathy and eloquence are 
summoned to unveil the sacred vision of absolute 
beauty. The Phaedo turns the logical theory upon 
the soul, which is seen to enjoy, when freed from 
the body, familiar cognition of the eternal types 
of being. Here Orphic dogma lends its aid to the 
Socratic search for knowledge, while we behold an 
inspiring picture of the philosopher in his hour of 

With increasing confidence in himself as the 
successor of Socrates, Plato next undertook, in the 
Republic, to show the master meeting his own un- 
satisfied queries on education and pohtics. We read 
now of a " form " of good to which all thought and 
action aspire, and which, contemplated in itself, will 
explain not merely why justice is better than in- 
justice, but the meaning and aim of everything. 
In order that man may be fully understood, we are 
to view him " writ large " in the organization of an 
ideal state. The scheme of description opens out 
into many subsidiary topics, including three great 
proposals already known to Greece, — the abohtion of 
private property, the community of women and 
children, and the civic equahty of the sexes. But 
the central subject is the preparation of the philo- 
sopher, through a series of ancillary sciences, for 
dialectic ; so that, once possessed of the supreme 
truth, he may have light for directing his fellow-men. 
As in the Phaedo, the spell of mythical revelation is 


brought to enhance the discourse of reason. The 
Phaedrus takes up the subject of rhetoric, to lead us 
allegorically into the realm of " ideas," and thence to 
point out a new rhetoric, worthy of the well-trained 
dialectician. We get also a glimpse of the philo- 
sopher's duty of investigating the mutual relations 
of the " forms " to which his study of particular 
things has led him. 

A closer interest in logical method, appearing 
through his delight in imaginative construction, is 
one distinctive mark of this middle stage in Plato's 
teaching. As he passes to the next two Dialogues, 
the Theaetetus and Parmenides, he puts off the 
aesthetic rapture, and considers the ideas as cate- 
gories of thought which require co-ordination. The 
discussion of knowledge in the former makes it 
evident that the Academy was now the meeting- 
place of vigorous minds, some of which were eager 
to urge or hear refuted the doctrines they had 
learnt from other schools of thought ; while the 
arguments are conducted with a critical caution 
very different from the brilliant and often hasty 
zeal of Socrates. The Parmenides corrects an actual 
or possible misconception of the theory of ideas in 
the domain of logic, showing perhaps how Aristotle, 
now a youthful disciple of Plato, found fault with 
the theory as he understood it. The forms are 
viewed in the light of the necessities of thought : 
knowledge is to be attained by a careful practice 
which will raise our minds to the vision of all parti- 


culars in their rightly distinguished and connected 

Plato is here at work on his own great problem : — 
If what we know is a single permanent law under 
which a multitude of things are ranged, what is the 
hnk between the one and the many ? The Sophist 
contains some of his ripest thought on this increas- 
ingly urgent question : his confident advance beyond 
Socratic teaching is indicated by the hterary form, 
which hardly disguises the continuous exposition of 
a lecture. We observe an attention to physical 
science, the association of soul, motion, and existence, 
and the comparative study of being and not-being. 
The Politicus returns to the topic of state-government, 
and carries on the process of acquiring perfect 
notions of reahty by the classification of things. 
Perhaps we should see in the absolute " mean " 
which is posited as the standard of all arts, business, 
and conduct, a contribution from Aristotle. The 
Philehus, in dealing with pleasure and knowledge, 
dwells further on the correct division and classifica- 
tion required if our reason, as it surely must, is to 
apprehend truth. The method is becoming more 
thorough and more complex, and Plato's hope of 
bringing it to completion is more remote. But he is 
gaining a clearer insight into the problem of unity 
and plurality. 

The magnificent myth of the Timaeus, related 
by a Pythagorean, describes the structure of the 
xmiverse, so as to show how the One manifests 


itself as the Many, We have here the latest 
reflections of Plato on space, time, soul, and many 
physical matters. In the lengthy treatise of the 
Laws, he addresses himself to the final duty of the 
philosopher as announced in the Republic : a long 
habituation to abstract thought will qualify rather 
than disqualify him for the practical regulation of 
public and private affairs. Attention is fixed once 
more on soul, as the energy of the world and the 
vehicle of our sovereign reason. 

Thus Plato maintains the fixity of the objects of 
knowledge in a great variety of studies, which enlarge 
the compass of Socrates' teaching till it embraces 
enough material for complete systems of logic and 
metaphysics. How far these systems were actually 
worked out in the discussions of the Academy we can 
only surmise from the Dialogues themselves and 
a careful comparison of Aristotle ; whose writings, 
however, have come down to us in a much less 
perfect state. But it seems probable that, to the 
end, Plato was too fertile in thought to rest content 
with one authoritative body of doctrine. We may 
be able to detect in the Timaeus a tendency to 
view numbers as the real principles of things ; and 
we may conjecture a late-found interest in the 
physical complexion of the world. As a true artist, 
with a keen sense of the beauty and stir of life, 
Plato had this interest, in a notable degree, through- 
out : but in speaking of his enthusiasm for science 
we must regard him rather as a great inventor of 


sciences than as what we should now call a scientist. 
This is giving him a splendid name, which few men 
have earned. Some of his inventions may be un- 
realizable, but it is hard to find one that is certainly 
futile. There are flaws in his arguments : to state 
them clearly and fairly is to win the privilege of 
taking part in a discussion at the Academy. 

W. R. M. Lamb. 

[Note. — Each of the Dialogues w a self-contained whole. 
The order in -which they have been mentioned in this Introduc- 
tion is that which agrees best in the main with modern views 
of Plato's mental progress, though the succession in some 
instances is uncertain.] 



The following give useful accounts of Socratic and 
Platonic thought : — 

T. Gomperz : The Greek Thinkers, vols. ii. and iii. Murray, 

W. Lutoslawski : The Origin and Growth of Plato's Logic. 

Longmans, 1897. 
R. L. Nettleship : Philosophic Lectures and Remains. 2 vols. 

Macmillan, 2nd ed., 1901. 
D. G. Ritchie: Plato. T. and T. Clark, 1902. 
J. A. Stewart: The Myths of Plato. Macmillan, 1905. 
„ „ Plato's Doctrine of Ideas. Clarendon Press, 

A. E. Taylor: Plato. Constable, 1911. 
A. M. Adam: Plato: Moral and Political Ideals. Camb. 

Univ. Press, 1913. 
H. Jackson : Presocratics, Socrates and the Minor Socratics, 

Plato and the Old Academy (Cambridge Companion to 

Greek Studies). Camb. Univ. Press, 1905. 
J. Burnet : Greek Philosophy : Thales to Plato. Macmillan, 


The following are important editions : — 
J.Adam: The Republic. 2 vols. Camb. Univ. Press, 1902. 
W. H. Thompson: The Phaedrus. Bell, 1868. 

„ „ The Oorgias. Bell, 1871. 

R. D. Archer-Hind : The Phaedo. Macmillan, 2nd ed., 1894. 

„ „ The Timaeus. Macmillan, 1888. 

J.Burnet. The Phaedo. Clarendon Press, 1911. 
L. Campbell: The Theaetetus. Clarendon Press, 1883. 
„ „ The Sophistes and PoUticus. Clarendon Press, 

E S. Thompson: The Meno. Macmillan, 1901. 
E. B. England : The Laws. 2 vols. Manchester Univ. 

Press, 1921. 


VOL. Mil 


The subject of this dialogue is the virtue whose 
various aspects we may approach in Enghsh ^\^th 
the words " temperance," " sobriety," " modera- 
tion," or " discretion," but for which our language, 
after centuries of analysis and definition have 
narrowed the application of ethical terms, has now 
no constant equivalent. The first of these words, 
" temperance," has been used throughout the 
present translation ; but it is necessary to note 
that the intellectual element in the Greek virtue 
of " temperance " is not only recognizable from the 
beginning of the conversation, but increasingly 
prominent as the argument proceeds. The Greeks 
always tended to regard a moral quality as a state 
of the reasoning mind; and Socrates' particular treat- 
ment of " temperance " in this discussion implies 
that he and his circle were even inchned to identify 
it with a kind of practical wisdom or prudence.^ 
An attentive reader will find no difficulty in per- 
ceiving the salient features of " temperance " — a 
distinct understanding of it as a whole is just what 
the speakers themselves are seeking — at each turn 
of the conversation. 

' <Tw<ppoavvr], indeed, though it came to mean something 
like our " temperance," originally meant " soundness of 
mind," "wholeness or health of the faculty of thought 




The handsome youth Charmides, whom Socrates 
meets in a wresthng-school at the beginning of the 
Peloponnesian War (432 B.C.), traces his descent 
through his father Glaucon to Dropides, a friend and 
kinsman of Solon ; his mother was a sister of Pyri- 
lampes, who was noted for his stature and beauty. 
Critias, son of Glaucon's brother Callaeschrus, and 
thus first cousin to Charmides, is a man of mature 
age, for he appears as his cousin's guardian : he 
became famous, or rather infamous, later on as one 
of the Thirty Tyrants ; and together with Charmides 
he fell fighting for despotism against democracy in 
404 B.C. But of these grim and dismal doings, 
which filled Plato (then a youth of twenty-three) 
with a horror of Athenian politics as conceived and 
conducted at that time, there is no hint in this 
brilliant scene of healthful training and ingenuous 
debate. Plato's own mother, Perictione, was Char- 
mides' sister, and he seems to record here with 
unmixed pride the goodly connexions of his family, 
from the standpoint of that earlier time of his child- 
hood. He chooses his uncle Charmides as offering 
a likely instance, in the flower of his youth, of a 
healthy, well-conditioned mind in a handsome, well- 
developed body. 

As soon as Socrates catches sight of the youth, 
he is fired with admiration of his grace. But the 
serious interest of Socrates is fixed, as ever, on the 
mind of this attractive person, and he proceeds at 
once to question him on the state of his " soul " 
and the nature of that " temperance " which is 
necessary for the well-being of the whole human 
organism. Two suggestions of Charmides — that 
temperance is a quiet or sedate kind of conduct, 


and that it is a feeling of modesty — are in turn 
disproved by Socrates ; a third definition, supported 
by and apparently derived from Critias — that it is 
doing one's o^^•n business — leads Socrates to insist, 
in his habitual way, on the importance of knowing 
what one is doing, •with the result that Critias gives 
a fourth definition — self-knowledge (164-5). Socrates 
tries to find out what exactly is the thing known 
by means of temperance, and so procured by it, 
as health is by medicine and buildings by archi- 
tecture. Critias rephes that temperance is dis- 
tinguished from all other kinds of knowledge by 
being the science of all the sciences, including 
itself (166). But Socrates shows the difficulty of 
conceiving of any function or faculty as applied 
to itself; it seems to require some separate object 
(168-9). He doubts, therefore, if there can be such 
cognition of cognition ; and even supposing this is 
possible, how about cognition of non-cognition, 
which was a part of the suggested nature of temper- 
ance (169) ? But altogether this view of the matter 
is too aridly intellectual, and of no practical value, 
for it fails to include a knowledge of what \Aill be 
beneficial or useful (172-3). We find that what 
we really require is a knowledge of good and evil 
(174), and it does not appear that temperance is 
anything hke this at all. In the end, we are not 
only left without a satisfactory answer to our ques- 
tion, but have rashly hazarded some improbable 
statements by the way. 

Such is the bare outhne of this interesting, if 
inconclusive, discussion. Plato's main object in 
composing the dialogue was to exhibit and recom- 
mend the process of attaining, or endeavouring to 


attain, a clear notion of an ordinary moral quality ; 
and as the difficulties accumulate, he takes the 
opportunity of enforcing his master's tenet that 
all human virtue and well-being must be based on 
knowledge. Our curiosity is first started in one 
direction, and then whetted and turned in another. 
The seemingly profitless search is so conducted that 
we are drawn, as audience of the little drama, to 
partake in a clarifying exercise of the mind, and 
we come away eager to analyse and refine our 
moral ideals. The need of understanding and co- 
ordinating the fundamental conceptions and con- 
ventions of society is the dominant theme of Plato's 
earlier wTitings : the scene and subject of each 
conversation are in effect quite casual, and the 
efforts of the speakers have no relation to what 
they may have said yesterday or may say to-morrow. 
Thus the suggestion (161 c), that temperance is 
" doing one's own business," is treated here as a 
puzzling riddle, and is lightly dismissed with some 
unfair play with the scope of the word " doing " : 
whereas this very suggestion is seriously advanced 
in the Republic (433, 496, 550) as a definition of 
justice. In the same way " self-knowledge " 
(another definition of temperance) is here pro- 
nounced to be impossible, and even if possible, 
useless (166) : but elsewhere we often find Plato 
insisting, with earnest eloquence, on the necessity 
and high value of self-knowledge. In the Charmides, 
however, Socrates does not stay to develop that 
familiar theme : for the moment he is only con- 
cerned to point out a difficulty involved in the 
suggestion as applied to temperance. Where he 
does come to an expectant pause, and hints at the 


right direction for further progress in the search, 
is in the demand for a cognition of good and evil 
(174), although this happens to be outside the sup- 
posed hmits of temperance. The train of reasoning 
here is briefly this : granted that knowledge must 
be a main constituent of the virtue of temperance, 
such knowledge cannot merely act or revolve upon 
itself ; it must have relation to some external 
sphere, and what we require is a knowledge of good 
and e\-il in the ends or aims of our conduct, superior 
to any particular knowledge or science pursued in 
our ordinary practical Ufa. This di\ision of sciences 
into the theoretical and the practical is resumed in the 
Gorgias. It is only just mentioned here, and so 
far " the good " is nothing more august or important 
than the Socratic conception of" the useful." 

We may perhaps regret that in disposing of 
Charmides' first suggestion Socrates commits the 
logical blunder of arguing that, because temperance 
and quickness are both honourable, therefore quick- 
ness is temperate (159 d)- No doubt Charmides' 
failure to protest at this point was brought out in 
discussion at the Academy. Plato would perhaps 
excuse himself by saying that when he wTote the 
Charmides he was more intent on intellectual drama 
than on logical accuracy. He has certainly dis- 
played remarkable skill in bringing out the two 
characters of Charmides and Critias in the natural 
course of the conversation ; and it is worth observing, 
besides, how the vividness of his portraiture serves 
to emphasize, by contrast, the impersonal, dis- 
passionate nature of reason and truth (166 c, 175 d). 


[h nEPI 2n*P02TNH5" nEIPA2TIK02] 


St. II 

153 "HKO/Jiev rfj TTporepaia ioTripas e/c norttSata? 
aiTO Tov arparoTTeSov, olov he Sta XP^^*^^ a^iy/xei/o? 
dafievojs fja inl ras crxjvqdeis Starpt^as-. Kal Sr] 
Kal els rrjv Tavpeov TraXatcrrpav rrjv KaravTLKpii 
TOV TTJs BacriXrjg lepov elarjXdov, Kal avrodi 
KareXa^ov ttovv ttoXXovs, tovs fxev Kal dyvajras 
ifjiOL, TOVS 8e TrXeiaTovs yvcopL/xovs . Kai pie cos 

B elSov elaiovTa e^ aTrpoahoKiJTOV , evdvs TTOppcoOev 
7ja7Tdt,ovTo dXXos dXXodev Xatpec^aiv Be, are /cat 
p^avLKOS (jov, dvaTTiqhr^aas €K p,eaa)v edet Trpos /xe, 
/cat piov Xa^opievos ttjs x^'-P'^^y '^ HdiKpaTes , rj 8' 
OS, TTCos eaojdrjs eK ttjs p.dx'qs ; oXiyov he rrplv 
rjpids dmevai p^dxy] eyeyovei ev Tjj 11 ore tSat a, '^v 
dpTL -^aav ol Trjhe 7Te7Tvapi,evoi. 

1 A Corinthian colony in Chalcidice which was a tributary 
ally of Athens, and revolted from her in 433 b.c. In the 
next year an Athenian force met and fought a Pelopon- 
nesian force at Potidaea, and then laid siege to the city. 
Thus began the Peloponnesian War. 


[or on temperance : tentative] 


Socrates, Chazbephon, Chitias, Chahmides 

We arrived yesterday evening from the army at 
Potidaea,^ and I sought with delight, after an absence 
of some time, my wonted conversations. Accord- 
ingly I went into the \^Testling-school of Taureas,^ 
opposite the Queen's shrine,^ and there I came upon 
quite a number of people, some of whom were un- 
known to me, but most of whom I knew. And as 
soon as they saw me appear thus unexpectedly, they 
hailed me from a distance on every side ; but Chaere- 
phon, like the mad creature that he is, jumped up 
from their midst and ran to me, and grasping me by 
the hand — 

Socrates, he said, how did you survive the battle ? 
(Shortly before we came away there had been a 
battle at Potidaea, of which the people here had only 
just had news.) 

* A professional trainer. 

• There was a shrine of Basile, or the Queen (of whom 
nothing is known), some way to the south of the Acropolis. 
Cf. Frazer, Pausanias, ii. p. 203. 



Kat iyw TTpos avrov aTTOKpivo^evos , Ovrcjal, 
e^rjv, (Ls ai) 6 pas. 

Kat ixr]v -rjyyeXrai. ye Sevpo, €(f)7), rj re P'O-X'T] ttovv 
C laxvpa yeyovevat, /cat iv avrfj ttoXXovs rd>v yvcopip.(xiv 

Kat eTneiKcos, rjv S' eya>, dXrjdrj aTn^yyeXraL. 

Hapeyevov p.iv, 7) 8' 6s, rfj lidyr}; 

Y[ap€y€v6p,rjv . 

Aevpo Sry, ^<l>'r), Kadet^opievos rjpuv hnjyrjaaL' ov 
yap Tt TTO) TTOvTa aa^tos TT€TTvap.eda. /cat a^Lta /Lie 
Kadit^ei dyoiv Trapd Kpiriav rov KaAAatcr;\;/Dou. 
'TTapaKad€t,6p.evog ovv rja7Tal,6p,rjv rov re K/atriW 
/cat Tovs dXXovs, /cat Strjyovp,r]v avroZs rd (Xtto 
arparoTTeSov, 6 n fx4 tis dvepouro' rjpiorcov Se 
aAAo? aAAo. 
D 'E7ret8T7 8e rcbv roiovrcov dSrjv €LXop.€V, avdts 
eyoj avroits dvqpcoTCov rd rfjSe, rrepl cf)iXoao(j)ias 
oTTiDs €^01 rd vvv, TTepi re rcvv vewv, et rives ev 
avrols hia(f)epovres r^ ao<j>ia r] /caAAet r) dp,(f)orepois 
eyyeyovores elev. /cat o Kptrta? aTTO^Xei/jas Trpds 
154 rrjv Ovpav, IScLv rivas veaviaKovs elaiovras /cat 
Xoihopovpievovs aAAr^Aot? /cat aAAot' oxXov oTTiadev 
e7T6p,evov, He pi puev rcbv KaXcov, e<f)rj, ^Q. HwKpares, 
auTt/ca fjbot, So/cet? eiaeadaL' ovroi ydp rvyxdvovaiv 
ol etaiovres TrpoSpofiot re /cat epaarai ovres rod 
SoKovvros KaXXiarov elvai rd ye Sr) vvv ^aiverai 
Be fioi /cat auras' eyyvs rjSr] ttov elvai irpoaKov. 

rjori be, rjv o eyoj, rts re /cat rov; 

Otadd TTOV av ye, e<f)r), dXX* ovtto) ev rjXiKLa rjv 
TTpLV ae ainevai, \app,i.8rjv rov rov TXavKojvos rov 
B rjp.erepov deiov vlov, ep.6v he dveifjLov. 

OrSa fievroL vrj Ata, 'qv 8' eyo)- ov ydp ri <j>avXos 


In the state in which you see me, I repHed. 

It has been reported here, you know, said he, that 
the battle was very severe, and that many of our 
acquaintance have lost their hves in it. 

Then the report, I rephed, is pretty near the truth. 

You were present, he asked, at the fighting ? 

I was present. 

Then sit down here, he said, and give us a fuU 
account ; for as yet we have had no clear report of 
it all. And ^^^th that he led me to a seat by Critias, 
son of Callaeschrus. So I sat down there and greeted 
Critias and the rest, and gave them all the news from 
the battlefield, in answer to their various questions ; 
each had his inquiry to make. 

When we had had enough of such matters, I in 
my turn began to inquire about affairs at home, how 
philosophy was doing at present, and whether any of 
the rising young men had distinguished themselves 
for wisdom or beauty or both. Then Critias, looking 
towards the door, for he saw some young fellows who 
were coming in ^\ith some raihng at each other, and 
a crowd of people follo\ving on behind them, said — 
Concerning the beauties, Socrates, I expect you •will 
get your knowledge at once : for these who are 
coming in are in fact forerunners and lovers of the 
person who is held, for the moment at least, to be the 
greatest beauty ; and he himself, I imagine, must 
by now be nearly upon us. 

WTio is he, I asked, and whose son ? 

You must know, he rephed, but he was not yet 
grown up when you went away, — Charmides, son of 
our uncle Glaucon, and my cousin. 

I do know, to be sure, I said ; for he was not to 



ouSe t6t€ ■^v en 7701? OJV, vvv 8' ot/xai ttov ev /LtoAa 
av TJSr] fieipaKLOV eirj. 

AvTLKa, €(f>r], etcret /cat -qXiKos kol olos yeyove. 
/cat afxa ravT^ avrov Xeyovros o Xa/3jU,t8rj? eiV- 

'E)Ltot jLtev ow, c5 iralpe, ovhkv aradfjirjrov 
arexyojs yap Xcvkt] ardOfirj et/xt Trpog rovs KaXovs' 
ax^hov yap ri /xot Tvavres ol ev rfj rfXiKia koXol 
(j)aivovTai' drap ovv Srj /cat t6t€ eKelvos ep-oi 

C Oavfxaaros i(f>dv'q ro re p.eyedos /cat to koXXos, ol 
he Sr] aAAot Trdvres epdv efMocye eSoKovv ainov' 
ovTCDS eKTTenXrjyuevoL re /cat redopv^rnievot rjaav, 
rjvLK* ela'^er ttoAAoi 8e 817 aAAot epaoral /cat ev 
rols OTTtadev etrrovro. /cat ro fiev rj/xerepov ro 
rcjv dvSpdJv rjrrov davp,aar6v r^v dXX eydi /cat 
Tot? TratCTt TTpocreaxov rov vovv, to? ou8et? aAAoa' 
e^XeTTev avrwv, o?5S' oaris apuKporarog rjv, dXXd 

D rrdvres wairep a.yaXp,a iOewvro avrov. /cat o 
\aLpe(j)d)v KaXeaas p-e, Tt aot (jtaiverai 6 veaviaKos , 
e(f)r], o) Hci)Kpares ; ovk evnpoacoTTos ; 
l7Tep<pvcos, "J^v o eyoj. 
Ovros p,evroL, e^rj, el edeXoi aTTodvvaL, 8o^et aot 
dTTpoacoTTos elvaf ovrcos ro elSos TrdyKaXos eariv. 

Hvv€(f)auav ovv /cat ot aAAot raura ravra rco 
\aLpe(f)a)vrr Kayd), 'H/ja/cAet?, e^rjv, cos dp.axov 
Xeyere rov dvSpa, el en avra> ev 817 p.6vov rvyxdvei 
rrpoaov ap.iKp6v n. 
Ti; ecftf] 6 KptTt'a?. 

E Et r7]v ifjvx'ijv, rjv 8' eyo), rvyxdvei ev Tre^u/cco?. 
TTpeTTeL 8e ttov, tS Kptrta, roiovrov avrov elvai ri]s 
ye vp.erepas ovra ot/cta?. 



be despised even then, when he was still a child, and 
now, I suppose, he will be quite a youth by this time. 

You will know this moment, he said, both how 
much and to what purpose he has grown. And just 
as he spoke these words, Charmides entered. 

Now I, my good friend, am no measurer : I am a 
mere " white line "^ in measuring beautiful people, 
for almost everyone who has just grown up appears 
beautiful to me. Nay and this time, moreover, the 
young man appeared to me a marvel of stature and 
beauty ; and all the rest, to my thinking, were in love 
N\ith him, such was their astonishment and confusion 
when he came in, and a mmiber of other lovers were 
following in his train. On the part of men hke us it 
was not so surprising ; but when I came to observe 
the boys I noticed that none of them, not even the 
smallest, had eyes for anything else, but that they 
all gazed at him as if he were a statue. Then Chaere- 
phon called me and said — How does the youth strike 
you, Socrates ? Has he not a fine face ? 

Immensely so, I replied. 

Yet if he would consent to strip, he said, you would 
think he had no face, he has such perfect beauty of 

And these words of Chaerephon were repeated by 
the rest. Then, — By Heracles ! I said, what an irre- 
sistible person you make him out to be, if he has but 
one more thing — a Uttle thing — besides. 

What ? said Critias. 

If in his soul, I replied, he is of good grain. And 
I should think, Critias, he ought to be, since he is of 
your house. 

^ A white or chalked line was proverbially useless for 
marking off measurements on white stone or marble. 



AAA', ^'^^> 7T(ivv KaXos Kal dyad 69 icm /cat 

Tt ovv, e(l>r]v, ovk d-nehvaajxev avrov avro tovto 
/cat edeaaajjieda Trporepov rod etSou?; TrdvTCos yd-p 
7TOV TTjXiKOVTOs CUV tJSt] ideXei StaXeyeadai. 

Kat TTavv ye, e(f)rj 6 Kptria?, inei, rot, /cat eort 
155 (f)i-X6ao(f)6s T€ Kat, o)? So/cet d'AAots" re /cat iavrco, 


Tovto fiev, t^v 8' eycu, c5 ^t'Ae Kptrta, TToppojdev 
vfuv TO KaXov VTTdpxct, 0,770 T^j SoAcDVO? CTuyyevetas'. 
aAAd Tt oy/c eTreSet^a? /tot toj' veavlav KaXiaas 
Sevpo; ovSe yap dv ttov el ctl eTvy^ave*^ vewTepos 
(xjv, aiCT)(pov dv rjv ayroi SiaXeyeaOai. rj/xlv evavTiov 
ye aov, eTTiTpoTTOV re dp,a /cat dvetjjiov ovtos. 

'AAAd /caAcDs", e</»T^, Xeyeis, /cat KaXovfiev avTov. 
B /cat d/Lta Txpos" rdi' dKoXovOov , Hal, e^rj, /cdAet 
^apfxiSrjv, eiTrdjv OTi ^ovXofiai avTOV laTpco av- 
(TTTJaaL TTepi Trjg aadeveias rjs TTpcprjv rrpos p,e eXeyev 
OTi dadevoL. Trpos ovv e/xe d Kpirta?, ''^vay)(os jot, 
e(f)r] ^apvveadai ri ttjv Kecf)aXrjv ecodev dvtaTdfievos' 
dXXd TL ae KcoXvei vpoaTTOLrjaaad at Trpos avTov ctt- 
iaraadai tl Ke(f)aXrjs cf)dpfji.aKov ; 

OuSeV, -^v 8' eyd>' p,6vov iXdeTco. 

'AAA' rj^ei, e^Tj. 

"0 ovv /cat eyeveTO. rjKe ydp, /cat eTToirjae ye- 
Xa>Ta TToXvv eKaoTos ydp rjfMoJv tcov Kadrjfjievojv 
C crvyxcopctjv tov ttXtjolov eojdei^ crTTOvSfj, tva Trap* 
avTO) Ka9et,oLTO, eo)s tcov ctt' eaxdTO) Kadrfp^eviov 
TOV fJbev dvecn-qaafiev, tov Se TrXdytov KaTe^dXofMev. 
6 8' eXddyv fieTa^v ep.ov re /cat tov Kptriou CKade- 

^ ei ?Tt iT&yx<xvi Goldbacher : ?Tt rvyxo-i'ei, el irvyxave mss. 
2 iwdei. W. Dindorf : &du mss. 


Ah, he said, he is right fair and good in that way 


\\Tiy then, I said, let us strip that very part of him 
and view it first, instead of his form ; for anyhow, at 
that age, I am sure he is quite ready to have a dis- 

Very much so, said Critias ; for, I may say, he is in 
fact a philosopher, and also — as others besides him- 
self consider — quite a poet. 

That, my dear Critias, I said, is a gift which your 
family has had a long while back, through your kin- 
ship with Solon. But why not call the young man 
here and show him to me ? For surely, even if he 
were younger still, there could be no discredit in ovir 
ha\ing a talk with him before you, who are at once 
his guardian and his cousin. 

You are quite right, he said, and we viiW call him. 
Thereupon he said to his attendant, — Boy, call 
Charmides ; tell him I want him to see a doctor 
about the ailment with which he told me he was 
troubled yesterday. Then, turning to me, — You 
know, he has spoken lately of ha\-ing a headache, 
said Critias, on getting up in the morning : now why 
should you not represent to him that you know a 
cure for headache ? 

WTiy not ? I said : only he must come. 

Oh, he will be here, he said. 

And so it was ; for he came, and caused much 
laughter, because each of us who were seated made 
room for him by pushing hard at his neighbour so 
as to have him sitting beside himself, until at either 
end of the seat one had to stand up, and we 
tumbled the other off sideways ; and he came and 
sat down between me and Critias. But here, my 



t,€To. ivravOa /jlcvtoi, c5 ^iXe, iyco yj^T] rjTTopovv, 
/cat fMov 7] Tvpocrdev dpaavrrjs i$€K€K07TT0, t^v elxov 
iyo} (I)S TTOLVV paSlcjos aura* StaAe^ojitevos" iTTejiSrj 8e, 
cf)pdaavTos rov Kptrtou oVt eyw eirjv 6 ro ^app^aKov 
D i7ncrrdp,€vos , ive^Xeipe re /xoi rot? 6(f)daXp,OLS 
dp.ri-)(av6v tl olov Kal dvqyero to? ipcoTT^acov , /cat 
ot iv rfj iraXaiarpa d-navres TrepUppeov rjp,ds kvkXco 
Kop,L^fj, t6t€ Srj, (5 yevvdSa, elSov re rd ivros rov 
Ipiariov /cat i(f>X€y6p,r]v Kal ovKer* iv ip,avrov rjv 
/cat ivofxiaa cro(f)a)rarov elvai rov KuStW rd 
epoiriKd, OS eiTrev evri KaXov Xeycov naiSos, dXXw 
VTrondei^cevos, " evXa^eladai p,rj Korevavra Xeovros 
ve^pov iXdovra pLoXpav alpeZadai Kpewv avrog yap 
E fMOL ihoKovv VTTO rov roLOvrov dpep,paros iaXcoKevai. 
opuDS 8e avrov ipcory^aavros, et €TnaraCpir]v ro rrjs 
K€(f)aXrjs (l)dpp,aKOV, p.6yis ttojs dTTeKpivdfJLTjv ori, 
€7noratp,rjv . 

t ovv, rj o OS, eariv; 

Kat iyoj elnov ori avro fxev elt] (j)vXXov ri, iTTtpBrj 
8e ris 6771 ro) ^ap/xa/coj e'irj, t^v et p,ev ris CTraSot 
a/xa /cat "x^pcpro avrio, rravrd-naaLV vyid ttoloZ ro 
(f)dpp,aK0V dvev 8e rrjs eTTcpSrjs ovSev o^eAo? etr] 
rov (f)vXXov. 
156 Kat 6'?, ^ A.TToypd\}iop,ai roivvv, e^^y, Trapd aov 
rrjv eTTOjh'qv. 

Uorepov, rjv 8' iyo), idv /xe TT€idr]s rj Kav p.rj; 

TeXdaas ovv, 'Eav ae TreWco, e^rj, co TicoKpares. 

Etev', rjv 8' eyd)' /cat rovvopud p,ov aru a/cptjSots'; 

Et p,r] dhiKU) ye, €(f)r]- ov ydp ri aov oXiyos Xoyos 

' A poet classed with Mimnermus and Archilochus by 
Plutarch ; cf. Bergk, Poet. LyrJ^ p. 960. 



friend, I began to feel perplexed, and my former con- 
fidence in looking forward to a quite easy time in 
talking with him had been knocked out of me. And 
when, on Critias telHng him that it was I who knew 
the cure, he gave me such a look with his eyes as 
passes description, and was just about to plunge into 
a question, and when all the people in the -WTesthng- 
school surged round about us on every side — then, 
ah then, my noble friend, I saw inside his cloak and 
caught fire, and could possess myself no longer ; and 
I thought none was so -wise in love-matters as Cydias,^ 
who in speaking of a beautiful boy recommends some- 
one to " beware of coming as a fa^\•n before the Hon, 
and being seized as his portion of flesh " ; for I too 
felt I had fallen a prey to some such creature. How- 
ever, when he had asked me if I knew the cure for 
headache, I somehow contrived to answer that I 

Then what is it ? he asked. 

So I told him that the thing itself was a certain 
leaf, but there was a charm to go with the remedy ; 
and if one uttered the charm at the moment of its 
apphcation, the remedy made one perfectly well ; 
but mthout the charm there was no efficacy in the 

Then I will take down the charm, said he, from you 
in wTiting. 

Do you prefer, I asked, to get my consent first, or 
to do without it ? 

This made him laugh, and he said : To get your 
consent, Socrates. 

Very well, I said ; and are you certain of my 
name ? 

Unless I misjudge, he repUed ; for there is no 

VOL. VIII c 17 


iarlv iv toXs rjfierepois 'qXiKicorais , fji.€fji,v7]iJLa(, 8e 
eyojye /cat Trals cov Kpirio. rcoSc crvvovra ae. 

KaAct)? ye crv, rjv 8' iyco, ttolojv' /xaAAov yap crot 

B irappiqaLaao^ai Trepi ttjs iTTa)Srjg, ota Tuyp^avei 
ovaa' apri S' rjTTopovv, rivi rpoircp crot et-Set^at/^r^v 
T17V hvvajJLLV avrrjs. eari yap, c5 Xap/AtSrj, roLavrrj 
ota firj BvvaadaL rrjv Ke^aX7]v fiovov vyid TTOLeZv, 
dAA' cocnrep tao)? .■)7S'i7 fat cry a/CTjACoas" tcDv aya^cov 
larpcoVy eTTeiSdv ris avroXs irpoaeXdrj tovs 6<f)daX- 
fjiovs dXycov, Xeyovai ttov, ore o{))( olov re avrovs 
fjbovovs eTTLX^tpeXv rovs 6(f>daXfjt,ovs Idadai, aAA' 
dvayKOiov etrj d/xa /cat rrjV K€<f)aXriv Oepaireveiv, 

C et jjbeXXoL /cat ra tcov ofifiarcov ev e;^etv /cat av ro 
TTjv K€^aXr)v o'Uodat dv ttotc depaiTevaai avrrjv €(/>* 
iavTTJs dvev oXov rov acojjbaros TToXXrjv dvoiav elvai. 
€K Sr] rovTov rov Xoyov Statrat? irrl irdv to adypia 
TpcTTOfMevoL pLcrd rov oXov ro p-epog iTTLX^ipovoi 
depaTTcvecv re /cat Idadaf rj ovk -rjadrjaai, on ravra 
ovrojs Xeyovai, re /cat e;)(et; 
Udvv ye, e<j)rj. 

OvKovv KaXd)s aoi 80/cet Xeyeadai /cat aTToSexij 
rov Xoyov; 

YldvrcDV /xaAtcrra, €<^y]- 

D Kaycu a/couaas" avrov eTraiviaavros dveddpprjod 
re, /cat /xot /caret apuKpov TrdXiv rj dpaavr7]s crvv- 
Tjyetpero, /cat dv€t,co7Tvpovp,r]V' /cat eX-nov Toiovrov 
roivvv eariv, c5 ^apfXiSr], /cat to ravrrjg rrjg eTTCpSrjs. 
efxadov 8' avrrjv eyd) CKel €7tI arparidg Trapd rivos 
rd)v &paKd}V rdJv ZaA/Ao^t8os" larpojv, ot Xeyovrai 
/cat dTTadavarit^eiv . eXeye 8e o Qpd^ ovrog, on 
ravra pi,ev [tarpot]^ ot "EAArjves", a vvv Srj eyd) 

^ larpol seel. Cobet. 


little talk of you among the set of our age, and I 
remember as a mere child the sight of you in company 
\\'ith Critias here. 

That is a good thing, I said : for I shall speak more 
freely to you about the charm, and its real nature ; 
just now I was at a loss for the way to apprise you 
of its power. For it is of such a nature, Charmides, 
that it cannot cure the head alone ; I daresay you 
have yourself sometimes heard good doctors say, you 
know, when a patient comes to them with a pain in 
his eyes, that it is not possible for them to attempt a 
cure of his eyes alone, but that it is necessary to treat 
his head too at the same time, if he is to have his eyes 
in good order ; and so again, that to expect ever to 
treat the head by itself, apart from the body as a 
whole, is utter folly. And on this principle they 
apply their regimen to the whole body, and attempt 
to treat and heal the part along with the whole ; or 
have you not observed that this is what they say, 
and is done in fact ? 

Certainly I have, he said. 

And you consider it well said, and accept the 
principle ? 

Most assuredly, he said. 

Then I, on hearing his approval, regained my 
courage ; and httle by httle I began to muster up 
my confidence again, and my spirit began to re- 
kindle. So I said, — Such, then, Charmides, is the 
nature of this charm. I learnt it on campaign over 
there, from one of the Thracian physicians of Zal- 
moxis,^ who are said even to make one immortal. 
This Thracian said that the Greeks were right in 

^ A legendary hero of the Thracian race of the Getae ; c/. 
Herodotus, iv. 94-6. 



eXeyov, KaXcos Aeyoiev aAAa ZaA/io^t?, e^^, Aeyei 
E o rjfierepos ^aatXevs, deos cov, on wanep 6(f)daX- 
fioiis av€V K€(f)aXi]s ov Set emxeLpeiv Idadai ouSe 
K€(f>aXrjv av€V crctj^Ltaros", ovrojs ovSe crwjjia avev 
tjjvxyjs, aAAa Tovro /cat atrtov eiTj tou 8ia(^ei;yetv 
Toy? rrapa rois "EAAr^CTtv larpovs ra ttoXXol voorj- 
{JLara, on rov oXov^ dfieXolev ov Seoi ttjv eTTi/iteAetav 
TToieiaOai, ov p,r] KaXws exovros dSvvarov elrj to 
fJiepos €v ^x^cv. TTOLvra yap €<f)T] €K ttjs ifjvx'tjs 
ojpfjiijadaL /cat ra /ca/ca Kat to, dya^a Tip acu/xart 
/cat TTavTL ru) dvOpcoTTw, /cat eKeWev eTTippelv waTrep 
157 e/c T'^S' K€(f)aX'f]s eTrt ra o/x/xara* Seii/ ow eKelvo 
/cat TTpcjTov /cat ndXiara depanevctv, et ^eAAet /cat 
ra T'^s" K€(f)aXrjg /cat ra tou aAAou awpiaros /caAcDs" 
e;(etv. 6 epaireveaO at he rrjv i/jvxrjv e(f)r], & fiaKapie, 
iiTipSals riaw rds 8' e77aj8as" raura? toj)? Aoyous" 
ctt'at Tous" /caAous"" e/c 8e roiv roiovroiv Xoycov ev 
Tat? i/jvxcus o'a)(f)poavvr]v eyyiyveadat, ^s iyyevo- 
ixevrjs /cat Trapovarjs paSiov rjSr] etvai rrjv vyUiav 
/cat rfj K€(j)aXfj /cat rco dXXco acopt-ari TTopit^eiv. 
B hihduKCxJV ovv fie TO re (f)dpp,aKov /cat ras" eTTcpSdg, 
OTTios, e(f)r), TO) (f)apfj,dKq) rovrco jxrjheLS ere Treiaei rrjV 
avTov Ke(f)aXrjv depanevetv, os dv fir] rrfv 4'vx'f]v 
TrpwTOv TTapdcrxjj ttj incpSfj vtto gov OepaTrevdrjvai. 
/cat yap vvv, e(f)r], tovt' eart, ro dfidfyrrjfia irepl 
Tovs dvdpiOTTOVs, on x^P^^ eKarepov [aa)(f>pocrvvr)s 
re /cat vyteta?]* larpoi nves einxeLpovaiv etvai' 
Kai fioi Trdvv u(f)6Spa evereXXero fXT^re rrXovaiov 
ovrco fiTjSeva elvai, firp-e yevvaZov firjre KaXov, o? 

^ Tov 6\ov Burnet: to oXov dyvooiev jiss. : tov dWov d/jLeXoiev 

^ (Tii}<ppo(T6vris T€ Kai vyidas om. Laur. Ixxxv. 6. 


advising as I told you just now : " but Zalmoxis," 
he said, " our king, who is a god, says that as you 
ought not to attempt to cure eyes without head, or 
head without body, so you should not treat body 
v^ithout soul " ; and this was the reason why most 
maladies evaded the physicians of Greece — that 
they neglected the whole, on which they ought to 
spend their pains, for if this were out of order it 
was impossible for the part to be in order. For all 
that was good and e\'il, he said, in the body and in 
man altogether was sprung from the soul, and flowed 
along from thence as it did from the head into the 
eyes. Wherefore that part was to be treated first 
and foremost, if all was to be well with the head and 
the rest of the body. And the treatment of the soul, 
so he said, my wonderful friend, is by means of certain 
charms, and these charms are words of the right sort : 
by the use of such words is temperance engendered 
in our souls, and as soon as it is engendered and 
present we may easily secure health to the head, and 
to the rest of the body also. Now in teaching me 
the remedy and the charms he remarked, — " Let 
nobody persuade you to treat his head with this 
remedy, unless he has first submitted his soul for you 
to treat with the charm. For at present," he said, 
" the cure of mankind is beset ^"ith the error of 
certain doctors who attempt to practise the one 
method without the other." And he most parti- 
cularly enjoined on me not to let anyone, however 
wealthy or noble or handsome, induce me to disobey 



C e/xe 7T€L(T€i aXXcos TTOLelv. iyoj ovv — o/JiwfjLOKa yap 
avTO), /cat fioL dvdyKrj Treideadai — TreiaofxaL ovv, 
Kai aoL, idv fj,€V ^ovXr) Kara ras" tov ^evov ivroXds 
TTjv ipvx'']v TrpaJTOv Trapaax^tv eTracrat rat? rov 
0/>a/cos" eTTipBaXs, TTpoaoiaco ro ^dpjxaKov rfj /ce^a- 
Xrj' el 8e fi-q, ovK dv €xoc{M€v 6 ri TTOLolfiev aoi, a> 
<f>LXe ^apjjiiSrj. 

'A/coycras" ovv jjlov 6 Kptrta? ravr' cIttovtos, 
"Kpfjiaiov, €(f)7], c5 JliOK pares, yeyovos dv e'irj rj rrjs 
Ke(f)aXi]s dadeveia rep veavlaKco, el dvayKaaO-^aerai 

D Kal rrjv SidvoLav 8ta rrjv Kecf)aXrjv ^eXrlwv yeveadat. 
Xeycxi fjuevroL aoi, on Xa/j/xtSTy? rcjv rjXiKLCordJv ov 
fxovov rfj tSea SoKeZ hia^epeiv , dXXd Kal avrco 
rovro), ov ai) (f)fjs rrjV eTTipSrjv ex^iv (f>fjs Se 
aco(f)po(Tvv'r]S' "^ ydp; 
Wdw ye, '^v S' eyo). 

Eu roivvv ladi, ecjtr], on rrdw ttoXv hoKeZ aoi- 
<f)pov€araros elvai rcov vvvi, Kal rdXXa iravra, eLS 
oaov rjXLKias yJKet,, ovSevos xetpcov cov. 

at yap, r]V o eyco, /cat OLKaiov, lo J^-appnoi], 
St,a(f)epeLV ae rcov dXXcov Trdau Tot? roiovrois' ov 

E ydp olfxat dXXov ovBeva rwv evddSe paSto;? dv 
e^etv eTnSel^ac, Trotat Svo olKcai cwveXdovaai els 
ravrov rcov ' Ad^vrjatv e/c rcov elKorcov /caAAt'ot dv 
Kal dfielvco yevvrjaeiav r) e^ cov av yeyovas. f) re 
ydp TTorpcpa vfjuv olKia, rj Kpirtov rov ApconlSov , 
Kal v-n 'AvaKpeovros Kal vtto HoXcovos /cat vtt 
dXXcov TToXXcov TTOLTjrcbv eyK€Kcop,tacrp,€vrj rrapa- 
hehorai rjpXv, cos Sta^e/aoucra KaXXet re /cat aperij 
158 /cat rfj a'AAi^ Xeyop.evrj evhatp.ovici' Kal av rj npos 
p/qrpos chaavrcos' YlvpLXd/JLTTOVs ydp rov aov dei- 

■ 22 


him. So I, since I have given him my oath, and must 
obey him, will do as he bids ; and if you agree to 
submit your soul first to the effect of the Thracian 
charms, according to the stranger's injunctions, I 
^^-ill apply the remedy to your head : othervsise we 
shall be at a loss what to do with you, my dear 

Then Critias, when he heard me say this, re- 
marked, — This affection of the head, Socrates, will 
turn out to be a stroke of luck for the young man, if 
he is to be compelled on account of his head to im- 
prove his understanding also. However, let me tell 
you, Charmides is considered to excel his comrades 
not only in appearance, but also in that very thing 
which you say is produced by your charm : temper- 
ance, you say it is, do you not ? 

Certainly, I repUed. 

Then be' assured, he said, that he is considered to 
be far and away the most temperate person now 
ahve, while in every other respect, for a youth of his 
age, he is second to none, 

WTiy, yes, I said, and it is only right, Charmides, 
that you should excel the rest in all these respects ; 
for I do not suppose there is anyone else here who 
could readily point to a case of any two Athenian 
houses uniting together which would be hkely to 
produce handsomer or nobler offspring than those 
from which you are sprung. For your father's house, 
which comes from Critias, son of Dropides, has been 
celebrated by Anacreon and Solon and many other 
poets, so that it is famed by tradition among us as 
pre-eminent in beauty and virtue and all else that 
is accounted happiness ; and then, your mother's 
house is famous in the same way, for of Pyrilampes, 



ov ovBels rcov eV rfj rjTTeipa) Xeyerai KoXXiwv koI 
fjbel^ojv dvr]p So^at elvai, oaaKis CKelvos 7] Trapa 
fMeyav ^aaiXea r) Trap dXXov rivd rtov ev rfj rjTreipcp 
TTpea^evojv d(j)iKeTo, crv/jbTracra Se avrr] rj OLKia ovS- 
€v TTJs erepas VTToSeearepa. e/c 317 tolovtcov yeyo- 
vora ei/cds" ere ets" Trdvra Trpcbrov elvai. rd fiev ovv 

B opcofieva rrjs iSea?, a) ^t'Ae vrat TXavKCOVOS, Sokcls 
fjiOL ovheva rdjv irpo aov iv ovBevl V7TO^€^T]K€vaL^' 
el 8e Srj Koi irpos aco(f)poavvr]v /cat Trpos rdAAa 
Kara rov rovSe Xoyov iKavcvs Tre^VKas, fiaKapiov ae, 
'qv S' eyw, d) <f)iXe Xap/xtSy^, r) fMijrrjp eriKrev. e^ec 
8' ovv ovrcos. el puev aoi rjSrj TrdpearLV, ws Xeyei 
K-pirlas oSe, aa>(f>poavvr] , /cat el aaxjypoiv iKavcbs, 
ovSev en aoi ehet ovre rcov ZaA/ito^tSo? ovre 
Tcov ' A^dptSos Tov 'YTTep^opeov eTTipScbv, aAA' avTO 

C croL dv rjSrj horeov e'lrj to rrjs KecftaXrjs (f)dpp,aKov 
el 8' en rovjcov emSerjs elvai SoKels, eTracrreov 
TTpo rrjs TOV (f)apfiaKov Soaecos. avTos ovv p.oL 
€1776, TTOTepov ofMoXoyels Tcp8e /cat (jjfjs Ikovcos yjSr] 
/cat aa)(f>poavvrjs p,eTe)(eLV 7) ev^erjs elvai; 

' Avepvdpidaas ovv 6 ^appbLSrjs TrpcoTov fiev ctl 
KaXXioiv e(f)av'r]' /cat yap to ala)(vvT7]X6v avrov ttj 
TjXiKia eTvpeipev eVetra /cat ovk dyevvdJs dneKpLvaTO' 
elrre yap otl ov paSiov e'lrj iv to) TrapovTi ovd^ 
op^oXoyelv ovTe e^dpvcp elvai Ta epioTcLp^eva. edv 

D p-ev ydp, rj 8' OS, p>r] (f)d) elvai ad)(f)p(x)v, d'/xa p,€V 

aTOTTov avTov Kad^ eavTov rotairra Xeyeiv, dpa 8e 

icai KptTtav TovSe ipevSrj eTriSei^o) /cat dXAovs 

TToXXovs, ols 80/caj etrat ad)(f)pcov, cos tovtov 

1 vTro^e^7)K€vai Madvig : virep^e^XijKivai mss. 

^ A fabulous hero of the far north, to whom oracles and 
charms were ascribed by the Greeks ; cf. Herodotus, iv. 36. 


your uncle, it is said that no one in all the continent 
was considered to be his superior in beauty or 
stature, whenever he came as envoy to the great 
king or anyone else in Asia, and his house as a 
whole is no whit inferior to the other. Sprung 
from such people, it is to be supposed that you 
would be first in all things. And indeed, as regards 
your visible form, dear son of Glaucon, I consider 
that nowhere have you fallen behind any of your 
ancestors. But if your nature is really rich in 
temperance and those other things, as our friend 
here says, blessed is the son, dear Charmides, I 
exclaimed, that your mother has borne in you ! 
However, the case stands thus : if you already 
possess temperance, as Critias here declares, and you 
are sufficiently temperate, then you never had any 
need of the charms of Zalmoxis or of Abaris the 
Hyperborean,^ and might well be given at once 
the remedy for the head ; but if you prove to be 
still lacking that virtue, we must apply the charm 
before the remedy. So tell me yourself whether 
you agree with our friend, and can say that you are 
already sufficiently provided vdih temperance, or 
are deficient in it ? 

At this Charmides blushed and, for one thing, 
looked more beautiful then ever, for his modesty 
became his years ; and then, too, he answered 
most ingenuously, saying it was no easy matter 
at the moment either to admit or to deny the words 
of the question. For if, he went on, I say I am not 
temperate, not only is it a strange thing to say against 
oneself, but I shall at the same time be taxing 
Avith untruth both Critias and many others who 
consider me to be temperate, as he gives out ; while 



Xoyos' iav 8' av ^cD /cat ifiavTov eTratvcD, tcrai? 
€7Ta)(B€s ^aveZrai- ware ovk ex^o 6 ri crot cltto- 

Kat eyoj elrrov on fioi eLKora (f)alvr) Aeyeiv, c5 
^apfiiSr]. Kai jjlol Sokcl, rjv 8' eyd), Koivfj av elvat 
oKeTTTeov, eire KeKrrjaaL e'lre firj o TTwOdvofiat, tva 
E firjTe av dvayKdt,7] Xeyecv d fMrj ^ovXei, fJ-i^T^ av iyu) 
aaK€7Trco£ ctti ttjv larpiKT^v rpeircofjiat. el ovv aoi 
(f)lXov, ideXco aKOTTelv p,erd aov' el 8e /at^, edv. 

'AAAa Travrcuv pidXiara, e(f)r), <j}iXov' ware rovrov 
ye eveKa, dnrj avrog oiet ^eXriov^ aKeifsaadai, ravrrj 


Tfjhe roivvv, e<j>rjv eyoi, 8o/cer /xot ^eXrlarr\ el- 
vac rj aKeifjLS Trepl avrov. S-qXov yap on, el aoi 
159 Trdpean aoj(f)poavv7] , ex^is tc Trepl avrrjs So^d^eiv. 
dvdyKT] ydp ttov ivovaav avrrjv, eXirep eveanv, 
aiadrjaiv rtva Trapex^tv, e^ rjg So^a dv ris aot Trepl 
avrrjs e'lrj, o rl ean /cat 077010^ n rj aa>(f)poavvrj' 
rj OVK Oiet; 

"Eycoye, e(f)rj, olp,ai. 

OvKovv rovro ye, €(f)rjv, o oiet, eTTei.StjTTep eXXrjvi- 
t,eiv eTTiaraaai, Kav eiTTOLS S-^ttov avrd 6 ri aot 

"laws, e(j>rj. 

"\va roivvv roTraaojfxev e'ire aot eveanv elre \irj, 
elrre, rjv 8' eyw, ri (f)rjs elvai ao)(f)poavvr)v Kara 
rrjv arjv So^av. 
B Kat OS ro p.ev rrpwrov wKvei re /cat ov rrdvv 
rfdeXev dTTOKpivaadai' eTreira p^evroL eivev on 01 
hoKol aaxbpoavvrj etvai ro Koapicos rrdvra rrpdrreiv 
/cat rjavxfji eV re rats ohols ^ahi^ecv /cat Sta- 

^ piXriov Heindorf : /SeXrt'w mss. 


if, on the other hand, I say I am, and praise myself, 
it will probably be found distasteful ; so that I 
cannot see what answer I am to give you. 

Then I said : Your answer is a natural one, in 
my opinion, Charmides ; and I think, I went on, 
that we must join in inquiring whether you possess 
the thing I am asking after, or not, in order that 
neither you may be forced to say what you do not 
wish, nor I on my part may recklessly try my hand 
at medicine. So if it is agreeable to you, I am ready 
to inquire with you ; but, if it is not, to let it alone. 

Why, nothing, he said, could be more agreeable 
to me : so far as that goes, therefore, inquire in 
whatever way you think we had better proceed. 

Then this is the way, I said, in which I consider 
that our inquiry into this matter had best be con- 
ducted. Now, it is clear that, if you have temper- 
ance with you, you can hold an opinion about it. 
For being in you, I presume it must, in that case, 
afford some perception from which you can form 
some opinion of what temperance is, and what kind 
of thing it is : do you not think so ? 

I do, he repUed. 

And since you understand the Greek tongue, I 
said, you can tell me, I suppose, your view of this 
particular thought of yours ? 

I daresay, he said. 

Then in order that we may make a guess whether 
it is in you or not, tell me, I said, what you say 
of temperance according to your opinion. 

He at first hung back, and was not at all willing 
to answer : but presently he said that, to his mind, 
temperance was doing everything orderly and 
quietly — walking in the streets, talking, and doing 


Aeyeaoai, /cat to. aAAa Travra coaravrcus TTOtetv /cai 
fjiOL SoKet, €(f)r), avXXij^Srjv rjavxi'0'i"f]9 tis elvat o 

'Ap' ovv, r^v S' lyoi, ev Aeyetj; (f>aaL ye rot,, a> 
^apjjblSr], rovs r]avxiovs a<x)(j>povas elvat' LScofxev 
Srj e'i TL XeyovoLv. etVe yap fxot, ov rcov KaXaJv 
C p-evroL rj (j(x)(j)poavvq iarl; 

Hdvv ye, €(f>r). 

Ylorepov ovv KoXXtarov ev ypapp.arLarov to. 
op,oLa ypap,p,ara ypd<j)eiv ra^v rj 'r]ov)(rj; 

Tt 8' dvayiyvcoaK€LV ; rax^ojs rj ^paSeojs; 


Kat p,€v Srj /cat ro KidapL^eiv rax^ojs Kal to 
iraXaieiv o^ecos ttoXv KaXXiov rod 'qavxfj t€ /cat 
PpaSecos ; 


Tt 8e 7TVKT€V€iv Tc /Cat TrayKpaTLat^eLV ; ov^ 

Yidvv ye. 

Qelv 8e /cat dXXeaOai /cat rd rod ac6p,aros 
D arravra epya, ov rd p,ev o^ecos /cat ra^v yiyvo- 
peva rod KaXov earl, rd Se [jS/aaSea]^ p,6ycs re 
/cat rjavx^a rod alaxpod; 


Oatverat apa, ecfyrjv eyco, Kard ye ro au)p,a 
ov ro rjavxi'OV, dXXd ro rdx^crrov /cat d^vrarov 
KaXXiarov ov. rj ydp ; 
. Yidvv ye. 

*H he ye aoxfypoavvrj koXov rt, rjv ; 


^ ^pa54a seel. Heindorf. 


everything else of that kind ; and in a word, he said, 
I think the thing about which you ask may be called 

Well, I said, are you right there ? They do 
say, you know, Channides, that quiet people are 
temperate : so let us see if there is anything fn 
what they say. Tell me, is not temperance, how- 
ever, among the honourable things ? 

To be sure, he said. 

Well, which is most honourable at the writing- 
master's, to write the same sort of letters quickly 
or quietly ? 


And in reading, to do it quickly or slowly ? 


And so, in the same way, to play the l}Te quickly, 
or to wrestle nimbly, is far more honourable than 
to do it quietly and slowly ? 


And what of boxing, alone or combined with 
wresthng ? Is it not the same there too ? 

To be sure. 

And in running and leaping and all activities of 
the body, are not nimble and quick movements 
accounted honourable, while sluggish and quiet 
ones are deemed disgraceful ? 


So we find, I said, that in the body, at least, it 
is not quietness, but the greatest quickness and 
nimbleness that is most honourable, do we not ? 


And temperance was an honourable thing ? 




Ov Toivvv Kara ye to aajfia rj r^avx^iorris av dAA' 
7j raxvrrjs aoxjypovicrrepov eir], eTretS?) KaXov rj 
"YiOLKev, €(f)'r]- 
E , Tt be; -^v 8' eyco, evfiaOla /caAAtov 'q hvajxadia; 

"EcTTi Be y', e(f)r]v, rj fiev evfxadia Ta)(€(os fiavOd- 
veiv, rj 8e Svafxadla rjav)(f] Kal ^paSecos; 


AcSdcTKetv 8e aAAov ov rax^cos KaXXiov koI 
a(f)6Spa p,dXXov -q 'qcrvxfj Te /cat ^paSecos ; 

Nat'. ^ ^ ' • ^ 

Tt 8e; dvap.ip.vr]aKead ai Kal fjueiJivrjcrdat '^crvxfj 
re Kal ^paSecos /caAAtov 7} cr^oSpa /cat raxecos ; 

Jl(f)6Sp\ ^(/>f], Kal Taxeois. 
160 *H 8' dyxi'Voia ovx} o^vttjs tls ecm rrjs ^^x^S, 
dAA' ovx} rjcrvx^cL; 


OvKovv Kal TO cruvievai rd Xeyofieva, /cat ev 
ypapLp-ariOTOV Kal Kidaptcrrov Kal ctAAo^t Travraxov, 
ovX d)s TjcrvxdLrara dAA' a>s" rdx^crrd eort /cdAAtora; 


'AAAd p.rjv ev ye rats ^"qr-qo-eai ttjs fpvx'rjs Kal 
ru) ^ovXeveadai ovx d ')7au;^ta>raTo?/ (hs eycb ot/xat, 
/cat pLoyig ^ovXevo/xevos re /cat avevpiaKOJv eTraivov 
80/cet d^ios elvai, dXX 6 paara re /cat ra^^tora 
rovTO Spcjv. 
B "Ecrrt Tai}ra, 6^77. 

OvKovv TTavra, tjv 8' eyco, dt Xa/a^LttSry, i^/Lttv /cat 
TO. TTepl rrjv ipvx'^v Kal rd Trepi, to adJfJLa, ra tov 

^ r)avxi-'iiTa.TOi Cobet ; TjavxtoTaros MSS. 



Then in the body, at least, it is not quietness but 
quickness that will be the more temperate thing, 
since temperance is honourable. 

So it seems, he said. 

Well now, I went on ; in learning, is facihty the 
more honourable, or difficulty ? 


And facihty in learning, I said, is learning quickly, 
and difficulty in learning is learning quietly and 
slowly ? 


And is it not more honourable to teach another 
quickly and forcibly, rather than quietly and slowly ? 


Well now, is it more honourable to be reminded 
and to remember quietly and slowly, or forcibly 
and quickly ? 

Forcibly, he replied, and quickly. 

And is not readiness of mind a sort of nimbleness 
of the soul, not a quietness ? 


And to apprehend what is said, whether at the 
^\Titing-master's or the h-re-master's or anjrwhere 
else, not as quietly as possible, but as quickly, is 
most honourable ? 


Well, and in the searchings of the soul, and in 
dehberation, it is not the quietest person, I imagine, 
or he who deliberates and discovers \\ith difficulty, 
that is held worthy of praise, but he who does this 
most easily and quickly. 

That is so, he said. 

Then in all, I said, Charmides, that concerns 
either oiu: soul or our body, actions of quickness and 



TO-xovs re koI ttjs o^vrrjros /caAAtcu ^aiverai r^ ra 
rrjs ^pahvrrJTOs re /cat rjavxi'Orr^ros ; 

OvK dpa Tjovxt'Or'qg ns rj aoi^poavvrj av etrj, 
ou8' Tjavxios 6 aa)cf)pa)v ^los, e/c ye rovrov rov 
Xoyov, iTTeiSri KaXov avrov Set etvat aiL^pova ovra. 
C Svolv yap 8r) ra erepa, ■^ ovSap,ov rjijuv rj ttolvv ttov 
oXLyaxov at rjavxi-OL TTpd^ets iv rep jSta> KaXXiovs 
e<^dvrjaav rj at raxelai re /cat laxvpai. el 8' ovv, 
& <j)iXe, OTt p,dXiara jjirjBev eXdrrovs at rjovxi-oi 
rwv a(f)oSpd)v re /cat rax^tcov npd^eoiv rvyxdvovai 
KaXXlovs ovaai, ovhe ravrrj aaj<f)poavvr} dv etr] 
^laXXov Tt ro rjovxfj Tipdrreiv rj ro (T(f>68pa re 
/cat rax^cos, ovre ev /SaSta/ia) ovre ev Ae^et ovre 
dXXodi ovSafiov, ouSe o rjcrvxi-os ^ios [KOCT/i-tos"]^ 
rod fjbr] rjcrvxiov (jco<j)povearepos dv e'lrj, eTreihrj 
D ev rep Xoyo) rcov KaXojv Tt r)p,tv rj acocfypoavvq 
VTTereOrj, /caAct he ovx rjrrov rd rax^o. rcov rjcrvx^iov 

'Op6(jL)9 /xot SoKets, ^(/>y], c5 TiiOKpares, elprjKevai. 

riaAti' roivvv, •^v 8' eyd), cS ^app.ihrj, /jidXXov 
TTpoaexoJV rov vovv /cat els aeavrov ip^^Xeifjas ,^ 
evvorjoas ottolov rtvd ae Trotet i^ aoi^poovvri 
TTapovaa /cat Trota Tt? ovaa roiovrov aTTepyat,OLro 
dv, rrdvra ravra avXXoyLadp,evos elire ev /cat 
dvSpelcos, ri aoi ^atVerat eivat. 
E Kat OS" eTTtaxdiv /cat ttovv dvhpiKchs irpos eavrov 
SiaaKeipdfjievos , Ao/cet roivvv /xot, e^^y, alaxvveadai 
TToielv rj ua>(f)poavvr} /cat alaxvvrrjXov rov avdpcorrov, 
/cat eivat OTrep alSd)s t^ aa)(f)poavvrj, 

^ Kb(7fiio% seel. Heindorf. 
2 i/x^\4\pas Burnet : (XTrefj-^X^xj/as, d7ro|3\^i/'as mss. 



nimbleness are found to be more honourable than 
those of slowness and quietness ? 

It looks hke it, he said. 

So temperance cannot be a sort of quietness, nor 
can the temperate Ufe be quiet, by this argument 
at least ; since, being temperate, it must be honour- 
able. For we have these two alternatives : either 
in no cases, or I should think in very few, can we find 
that the quiet actions in hfe are more honourable 
than the quick and \igorous ones ; or at all events, 
my friend, if of the more honourable actions there 
are absolutely as many quiet ones as forcible and 
quick, not even so wiU temperance be acting quietly 
any more than acting forcibly and quickly, either 
in walking or in talking or in any other sphere : 
nor will the quiet hfe be more temperate than the 
unquiet ; since in our argument we assumed that 
temperance is an honourable thing, and have found 
that quick things are just as honourable as quiet 

Your statement, he said, Socrates, seems to me 
to be correct. 

Once more then, I went on, Charmides, attend 
more closely and look into yourself; reflect on 
the quahty that is given you by the presence of 
temperance, and what quality it must have to 
work this effect on you. Take stock of all this and 
tell me, hke a good, brave feUow, what it appears 
to you to be. 

He paused a httle, and after a quite manly effort 
of self-examination : Well, I think, he said, that 
temperance makes men ashamed or bashful, and 
that temperance is the same as modesty. 

VOL. VIII D 33- 


Etra, rjv 8 iyo), ov KaXov dpri cofMoXoyeis rrjv 
ao)<f>poavv'qv elvai; 
Yidvv y* , €(f)rj. 

OvKovv Kal dyadol dvSpes ol awcfipoves ; 

A/a' ovv dv eirj dyadov, o nrj dyadovs aTrepyd^erai ; 
Ov Srjra. 

Ov /xovov ovv dpa KaXov, aAAd Kal dyaOov iariv. 
161 "E/xotye So/cei. 

Tt ovv; rjv 8 iyco' 'Op.ijpa) ov TTiareveis KaXd>s 
Xeyeiv, Xeyovn on 

aiScus" 8 ovK dyadrj Kexprj/J-evo) dvSpl Trapelvai; 

"Eycoy', e^Ty. 

' EoTti' apa, (x)s eoLKev, al8d)s ovk dyadov Kal 
OatVerai . 

lla}(f>po(jvv7] 8e ye dyadov, eiirep dyadovs Trotet 
ols dv TTapfj, KaKovs 8e p.rj. 

AAAa pbr^v ovro) ye SoKeX p.oi ex^iv, cos ov XeyeiS' 
Ovk dpa aoi(f>poavvrj dv e'trj al8a)s, eiTrep ro p.ev 
B dyadov rvyxdvei ov, alhojs 8e [}J'r]Y ovhev fiaXXov 
dyadov r) Kal KaKov. 

AAA' kfJiOLye SoKel, e(f)r], a> ^coKpares, rovro 
jxev opddjs XeyeadaL- rohe 8e OKexfjai ri aoi SoKel 
eivai TrepL aoj(f)poavvrjs . dpn yap dvefjLvqadrjv o 
TjSr] rov r]Kovara Xeyovros, on, aco(f)poavv7] dv eirj 
ro ra eavrov vpaTreiv. oKoireL ovv rovro el 
opdcos ooL hoKel Xeyeiv 6 Xeycov. 

Kat eyo), 'Q. paape, €(f)r]v, Kptriov rovBe dKiJKoas 
C avro Tj dXXov rov rwv ao(f)cov. 
^ /XT] seel. Ast. 


Well now, I asked, did you not admit a moment 
ago that temperance is honourable ? 

Certainly I did, he said. 

And temperate men are also good ? 


Well, can that be good which does not produce 
good men ? 

No, indeed. 

And we conclude that it is not only honourable, 
but good also. 

I think so. 

Well then, I said, are you not convinced that 
Homer ^ is right in saying — 

Modesty, no good mate for a needy man ? 

I am, he said. 

Then it would seem that modesty is not good, 
and good. 


But temperance is good, if its presence makes 
men good, and not bad. 

It certainly seems to me to be as you say. 

So temperance cannot be modesty, if it is in fact 
good, while modesty is no more good than evil. 

Why, I think, he said, Socrates, that is correctly 
stated ; but there is another \-iew of temperance 
on which I would like to have your opinion. I 
remembered just now what I once heard someone 
say, that temperance might be doing one's own 
business. I ask you, then, do you think he is 
right in saying this ? 

You rascal, I said, you have heard it from Critias 
here, or some other of our >vise men ! 

1 Od. xvii. 347. 



Eot/cev, €^17 o K/oirt'a?, a'AAou* ov yap §17 e/xou ye. 

'AAAo. Ti Sta^e/aei, -^ 8' oV, o \apfj.(,Srjs , c5 
JlcoKpares, orov rJKovaa; 

OvSev, -^v S' eyco* Trdvrcos yap ov rovro aKeirreov, 
ocrrt? ayro elnev, dXXa irorepov dXrjdes Xeyerai 
7] ov. 

Nvv opOcJJs Aeyets", 77 8' o?. 

Nt] Ata, ■^v 8' eycu* aAA' el /cat evpijaofiev avro 
OTTTj ye exei, 6avp.dt,oi}M dv alviyiMart ydp tlvl 

"On Br] TL ye; e(f)rj. 

"Ort ov Stjttov, rjv 8' eyco, fj rd pT^fiara e^dey^aro, 
D rarjrrj koI evoei 6 Xeycov aco^poavvrjv etvai ro rd 
avTOV irpdrreiv. ^ av ovSev irjyfj Trparrevv rov 
ypafifiaricmijv, orav ypd<j>rj r] dvayiyv(x)aKr] ; 

"Eycoye, rjyovfMai fxev ovv, e<j)rj. 

AoK€L ovv aoi TO avTov ovofJia pLovov ypd(f)€iv 6 
ypap,p,arLCjr'r]s Kal dvayiyvoiaKeiv , r] vpds tovs 
TTalSas SiSdcTKeiv, ■^ ovSev rjrrov rd rwv e^dpcov 
eypd^ere r) to. vp^erepa /cat rd rcov (jiiXcov dv6p,ara; 

Ovhev rjrrov. 

^H ovv eTToXvTTpayp,ovelre /cat ovk eaco^povelre 
E rovro Bpcovres; 

OvSap^cos . 

Kat iJi,r]v ov rd vp^erepd ye avrdJv eTvparrere, 
etirep ro ypd(f)eLv Trpdrreiv ri eari /cat to avaytyvctS- 

'AAAo. p,-^v ear IV. 

Kat ydp ro Idadai, d) eralpe, /cat ro ocKoBop^etv 
Kal rd v<f)aiveLV /cat rd jjrLViovv rexvrj oriovv rcov 
' r€)(yr]s epycov aTTepyd^eadai Trpdrreiv BtJttov ri 


Seemingly, said Critias, from some other ; for 
indeed he did not from me. 

But what does it matter, Socrates, said Charmides, 
from whom I heard it ? 

Not at all, I rephed ; for in any case we have not 
to consider who said it, but whether it is a true 
saying or no. 

Now you speak rightly, he said. 

Yes, on my word, I said : but I shall be surprised 
if we can find out how it stands ; for it looks like 
a kind of riddle. 

WTiy so ? he asked. 

Because, I repUed, presumably the speaker of 
the words " temperance is doing one's own business " 
did not mean them quite as he spoke them. Or 
do you consider that the scribe does nothing when 
he writes or reads ? 

I rather consider that he does something, he rephed. 

And does the scribe, in your opinion, MTite and 
read his own name only, and teach you boys to do 
the same with yours ? Or did you \\Tite your 
enemies' names just as much as your own and your 
friends' ? 

Just as much. 

Well, were you meddlesome or intemperate in 
doing this ? 

Not at all. 

And you know you were not doing your own 
business, if writing and reading are doing something. 

Why, so they are. 

And indeed medical work, my good friend, and 
building and weaving and producing anything what- 
ever that is the work of any art, I presume is doing 



Udvv ye. 

Tt ovv; -qv 8' iyo), 8ok€l dv aoi ttoXls ev oiKel- 
adai VTTO rovTov rod vofjiov rov KeXevovrog to 
eavTov IfMaTiov e/cacrrov v<f>aLV€iv /cat rrXvveiv, /cat 
VTToS-qfjLara aKvroTOjxelv , /cat XrjKvdov /cat arXey- 
162 yt'Sct /cat TaAAa Travra /caret rov ainov Xoyov, riov 
fxev dXXorplujv fjurj dirreaQai, rd he. eavrov eKaarov 
epyd^cardal re /cat Trpdrreiv ; 

OvK e/xoiye So/cet, rj 8' 6s. 

'AAAo. fMevroL, e(f>rjv iyu), <ra)<j)p6vo)S yc. ocKovaa 
€v dv oiKoZro. 

net)? 8' ovk; ecfiT). 

OvK dpa, riv 8' iyco, rd rd roiavrd t€ /cat ovro) 
rd avrov Trpdrrciv awcfypoavvr] dv eirj. 

Ov (f)alv€r ai. 

'HtvtTTeTO apa, ojs eoiKcv, OTrep dpri iyd> eXeyov, 
6 Xiyoiv rd rd avrov Trpdrreiv aco^poavviqv euvav 
ov yap TTOV ovrto ye rjv evrjdrjs' rj rivos rjXidiov 
B rJKovaas roxrrl Xeyovros, c5 ^ap/juiSr] ; 

"H/ctcrra ye, e^-q, eirei roi /cat ndw e8o/C€t cro(f)ds 

Ilavros roivvv p,dXXov, d>s €p,ol So/cet, aiviy/xa 
avrd TTpov^aXev, cos ov y^aXeirov rd rd avrov 
rrpdrreiv yva)vai 6 ri rtore eariv. 

Tt ovv dv ell] TTore rd rd avrov rrparreiv ; €X€iS 
eiTTelv ; 

Ovk ot8a jxd At" eycoye, rj 8' ds' dAA' laa)s ovhev 
KcoXvei fjLTjSe rov Xeyovra /jirjdev etSeVat o rt, evoei. 



Well then, I went on, do you think a state would 
be well conducted under a law which enjoined that 
everyone should weave and scour his o^vn coat, and 
make his own shoes, and his o\\'n flask and scraper,^ 
and everj-thing else on the same principle of not 
touching the affairs of others but performing and 
doing his own for himself ? 

I think not, he rephed. 

But still, I said, a state whose conduct is temperate 
will be well conducted. 

Of course, he said. 

Then doing one's own business in that sense and in 
that way \\ill not be temperance. 

Apparently not. 

So that person was riddling, it seems, just as I said . 
a moment ago, when he said that doing one's own 
business is temperance. For I take it he was not 
such a fool as all that : or was it some idiot that you 
heard saying this, Charmides ? 

Far from it, he rephed, for indeed he seemed to 
be ver)' -wise. 

Then it is perfectly certain, in my opinion, that he 
propounded it as a riddle, in view of the difficulty of 
understanding what " doing one's o^vn business " can 

I daresay, he said. 

Well, what can it mean, this " doing one's own 
business " ? Can you tell me ? 

I do not know, upon my word, he rephed : but I 
daresay it may be that not even he who said it knew 

* The flask contained oil for anointing the body before 
exercise, and the scraper was for scraping it afterwards, or 
at the bath. 



/cat a/xa ravra Xeycov vrreyiXa re /cat elg rov 
Kpiriav atre^Xe-nev . 
C Kat o KjOtTtas- S^Ao? /xei' t^v' /cat vraAat aycoviibv 

/cat (f)tXoTifliJOS TTpoS T€ TOP Xap/Xt'ST^V /Cat TTpO? TOVS 

Trapovrag excov, fMoyis 8' iavrov iv rep Trpocrdev 
Karexojv Tore ovx otos re iyevero' 8o/cet yap [xol 
TTavros pbdXXov dXrjdes etvai, o eyco VTreXa^ov, rov 
Kptrtoy OLKrjKoevaL rov y^app,ihr]v ravrr)v rrjv 
aTTOKpiaiv TTcpl rrjs a(x)(f)poavvr]s . 6 fxev ovv 
Xap/xiSrjs" ^ovXa/xevos fMrj avros vrrexetv Xoyov aAA' 
D €K€ivov rrjs aTTOKpiaeojs , VTreKcvcL avrov eKelvov, 
/cat iveSeLKvvro cos i^€XrjXeyp,evos e'lr]' 6 S' ovk 
rjveaxero, aAAa p.oL eSo^ev opyiadrjvaL avra> coairep 
TTOLiqrr^g VTTOKpirfj /ca/ccos' Stari^eWt to, iavrov 
. 7:oir\p,ara' war' ep.^Xeijjag avrw etrrev, Ovrws olei, 
d) Xap/itSry, el av p,rj olada 6 ri ttot' evoet os e<f)r^ 
aco^poavviqv elvai ro ra iavrov Trpdrreiv, ovSe Brj 
eKeZvov elhevai; 

'AAA', CO ^eXriare, e(f)7]v eyco, Kptrta, rovrov p.ev 
ovhev davpLaarov dyvoeZv rrjXLKovrov ovra- ue Se 
E 7TOV eiKos elSevai /cat rjXiKtas eVe/ca /cat eTTip^eXeias. 
el ovv avyxcopeis rovr' elvat aoj(f)poavvrjv oirep 
ovroal Xeyei, /cat TrapaSexj] rov Xoyov, eya>ye ttoXv 
av tJSlov puerd aov aKorrolpbrjv , eiV dXrjdes eire p-r] 
TO Xexdiv. 

AAAa Trdvv avyxo)pa>, e<f>r], /cat TrapaSexopbai. 

KaAcDs" ye av roivvv, rjv 8' iyo), ttolcov. Kat p.oL 
Xeye, -^ /cat a vvv Sr] rjpiorcov iyd) avyxfJ^P^Zs, rovs 
Srjpbiovpyovs Trdvrag TTOLelv ri; 


'H ovv hoKovai aoL rd iavrdJv pbovov TToieZv rf 
/cat ra rwv dXXuiv ; 


in the least what he meant. And as he said this he 
gave a sly laugh and glanced at Critias. 

Now Critias for some time had been plainly burning 
with anxiety to distinguish himself in the eyes of 
Charm ides and the company, and having with diffi- 
culty restrained himself heretofore, he now could 
do so no longer ; for I beheve that what I had 
supposed was perfectly true — that Charmides had 
heard tlais answer about temperance from Critias. 
And so Charmides, wishing him to make answer 
instead of himself, sought to stir him up in particular, 
and pointed out that he himself had been refuted ; 
but Critias rebelled against it, and seemed to me to 
have got angry with him, as a poet does with an actor 
who mishandles his verses on the stage : so he looked 
hard at him and said : Do you really suppose, Char- 
mides, that if you do not know what can have been 
the meaning of the man who said that temperance 
was doing one's OAvn business, he did not know either ? 

Why, my excellent Critias, I said, no wonder if our 
friend, at his age, cannot understand ; but you, I 
should think, may be expected to know, in view of 
your years and your studies. So if you concede that 
temperance is what he says, and you accept the 
statement, for my part I would greatly prefer to 
have you as partner in the inquiry as to whether this 
saying is true or not. 

Well, I quite concede it, he said, and accept it. 

That is good, then, I said. Now tell me, do you 
also concede what I was asking just now — that all 
craftsmen make something ? 

I do. 

And do you consider that they make their o"wn 
things only, or those of others also ? 



163 Kat ra rcov ctAAcov. 

Zico(ppovovat,v ovv ov to, eavrojv fxovov TTOiovvres . 

Tt yap KcoXvei; €(f)rj. 
voev e/xe ye, rjv o eyco- aAA opa /jltj €K€lvov 
KOiAvcL, OS VTToOefievos cra>(l)poavvr]v elvat ro ra 
eavrov Trparreiv CTretra ovSev (fj-qai kojXv€lv Kal 
rovs ra rcbv dXXojv Trpdrrovras craxftpoveLv . 

Eyoj yap ttov, rj S' 6s, rovd^ (x)p.oX6yr]Ka, (Ls ol 
ra TOJv aXXiov Trpdrrovres aoj(f)povovaLv , r) rovs 
TTOLovvras (hfioXoyrjaa ; 

EiTre not,, rjv 8' iyo), ov raxnov KaXels ro TTOtelv 
Kal ro irpdrreiv; 
B Ov fMevroL, €(f)r]' ovSd ye ro ipyd^eaOai, Kal ro 
TTOLeiv. e/jiaOov yap Trap' 'HcrtdSou, os €(f)rj, epyov 
S ovSev elvat oveiSos. olei ovv avrov, el rd rotavra 
epya e/caAet Kal epydt^eadai Kal Trpdrreiv, ola vvv 
Srj ov eXeyes, ovhevl dv ovethos (j)dvai elvai OKvro- 
rop.ovvrL rj rapL-)(OTTa>Xovvri t) ctt' OLK-qp^aros Kad- 
7]p,€V(p; ovK o'ieadai ye XPV> ^ ScoK/oares', aAAa Kal 
C eKelvos, ot/xat, Trotr^criv Trpa^ews Kat epyaaias dXXo 
ivofiLl^e, Kal 7Tolr]p,a fiev yiyveodai dveihos evlore, 
orav firj fierd rov KaXov yiyv-qrat, epyov 8e ovSe- 
TTore ovhev oveihos' rd ydp KaXdJs re Kal d)(j>eXip,cos 
TTOLOvfxeva epya eKdXei, Kal epyaaias re Kat jrpd^eis 
ras roiavras iroiiqcreis. (f)dvaL 8e ye xp'h x^'- oiKeta 
pLova rd roiavra rjyeladaL avrov, rd 8e ^Xa^epd 
TTavra aXXorpia- oiore Kal 'Horto8ov )(pr) oteadai 
Kal dXXov, oarts <f)p6vLp,os, rov rd avrov TTpdrrovra 
rovrov aaxjypova KaXelv. 

^ The Greek word woie'tv ("make") can also mean the 
same as irpdrreiv (" do "). 



Those of others also. 

And are they temperate in not making their o^vn 
things only ? 

Yes : what reason is there against it ? he said. 

None for me, I rephed ; but there may be for liim 
who, after assuming that temperance is doing one's 
OAvn business, proceeds to say there is no reason 
against those also who do others' business being 

And have I, pray, he said, admitted that those 
who do others' business are temperate ? Or was my 
admission of those who make ^ things ? 

Tell me, I said, do you not call making and doing 
the same ? 

No indeed, he replied, nor working and making the 
same either : this I learnt from Hesiod,^ who said, 
" Work is no reproach." Now, do you suppose that 
if he had given the names of working and doing to 
such works as you were mentioning just now, he 
would have said there was no reproach in shoe-making 
or pickle-selhng or serving the stews ? It is not to 
be thought, Socrates ; he rather held, I conceive, 
that making was different from doing and working, 
and that while a thing made might be a reproach if 
it had no connexion with the honourable, work could 
never be a reproach. For things honourably and 
usefully made he called works, and such makings he 
called workings and doings ; and we must suppose . 
that it was only such things as these that he called 
oiu- proper concerns, but all that was harmful, the 
concerns of others. So that we must conclude that 
Hesiod, and anyone else of good sense, calls him 
temperate who does his own business. 

2 Works and Bays, 309. 



D 'Q. KptTta, ■^v 8' iyco, /cat evdvs dp^ofjuevov aov 
ax^Sov ifMavdavov rov Xoyov, on rd oiKeZd re /cat 
Td avrov dyaOd KaXoir^g, /cat rds rwv dyadcov 
TTOi-qaets Trpa^ets" /cat ydp Il/JoSt/coti fxvpia rivd 
aKrjKoa irepi dvojjbarwv Statpovvros. aAA' iyco ctol 
TiOeadai fxev rcijv ovopidrcjov SiScofjbi ottt) dv ^ovXt] 
eKaarov S-qXov 8e p,6vov e<^' o n dv (f>€pr]g rovvofxa 
o TL dv Xeyrjs- vvv ovv TrdXiv i^ dpx'fjs aa<j)eaTepov 
E optCTttf dpa rr]V tojv ayaOoJv Trpd^iv •^ TToiiqaiV tj 
oTTcos crv jSouAet 6vop,dl,€i,v, Tavrrjv Aeyet? av aoj- 
(fypocTVvqv elvai; 

"Eiycoye, €.<j>rj. 

OvK dpa aco(f)pov€L 6 rd /ca/ca Trpdrroiv, dAA' o 
rd ay ad a; 

Sot 8e, T^ 8' OS, (h ^eXriare, ov)( ovrco So/cet; 

"Ea, rjv 8' iyo)' jjbrj ydp ttco rd ifMol Sokovv 
aKOTTcbfiev, dAA' o ai) Aeyet? vw. 

'AAAd jjiivroL eywye, €(f)r), rov fxr) dy add dAAa 
/ca/cd TToiovvra ov 0i^/x.i ao)(f)pov€LV , rov he dyadd 
dXXd p,r] /ca/cd aco^poveZv rrjv ydp rdJv dy adoJv 
irpd^LV (TCJ(f)poavvr)v elvai aa(f)cog crot Sto/ot^o/xat. 
154 Kat ovSev ye ae laojs KcoXvei dXrjdrj Xeyeiv rohe 
ye fievroL, rjv 8' eyo), davpidt^o}, el (70i(j>povovvras 
dvdpcoTTOvs rjyfj ov dyvoelv on acoj>povovaiv . 

'AAA' ovx rjyovpLai, e(f)rj. 

OvK oXiyov rrporepov, ecjirjv eyci), eXeyero vtto 
aov, on rovs hrjp^iovpyovs ovhev KcoXvet /cat ai; rd 
rcov dXXa>v TTOiovvr as aa)<j>povelv ; 
EAeyero ydp, e^rf dXXd ri rovro; 

Ovhev dXXd Xeye el 8o/cet ris aoi larpos, vyid 

^ " Names " here includes any substantive words such as 


Ah, Critias, I said, you had hardly begun, when I 
grasped the purport of your speech — that you called 
one's proper and one's o-s^ti things good, and that the 
makings of the good you called doings ; for in fact 
I have heard Prodicus drawing innumerable dis- 
tinctions between names. ^ Well, I \\nll allow you any 
application of a name that you please ; only make 
clear to what thing it is that you attach such-and- 
such a name. So begin now over again, and define 
more plainly. Do you say that this doing or making, 
or whatever is the term you prefer, of good things, is 
temperance ? 

I do, he rephed. 

Then not he who does evil, but he who does good, 
is temperate ? 

And do not you, my excellent friend, he said, 
think so ? 

Leave that aside, I said ; for we have not to con- 
sider yet what I think, but what you say now. 

Well, all the same, I say, he replied, that he who 
does e\'il instead of good is not temperate, whereas 
he who does good instead of e\-il is temperate : for I 
give you " the doing of good things is temperance " 
as my plain definition. 

And there is no reason, I daresay, why your state- 
ment should not be right ; but still I wonder, I went 
on, whether you judge that temperate men are 
ignorant of their temperance. 

No, I do not, he said. 

A httle while ago, I said, were you not saying that 
there was no reason why craftsmen should not be 
temperate in making others' things as well ? 

Yes, I was, he said, but what of it ? 

Nothing ; only tell me whether you think that a 



B TLva TTOLCov, OL)(^eAi/xa kol iavro) TTOielv /cat eKelvu) 
ov la>ro ; 
OvKovv TO. Seovra TrpdrreL 6 ye ravra Trpdrriov; 

'0 ra Sdovra Trpdrrcov ov aaxfypovei; 

Hco(f)pov€L p.kv oSv. 

^H ovv /cat yiyvcouKeiv dvdyKr] rco larpa> orav re 
<h(f)€\ip.o}s larat /cat orav [mtJ; /cat eKdarcp rcov 
hrjpLLOvpywv , orav re fxeXXr] oviqaeadai aTTO rov 
epyov ov dv Trpdrrr], /cat orav pufj; 

"lacjs ov. 

^KvLore dpa, rjv 8' eyu), <h(j>eXip.cos Trpd^as t] 
C ^Xa^epoJs 6 larpos ov yiyvcocrKei eavrov cos eirpa- 
^ev /catVot (h^eXip.ois Trpd^as, cos 6 aos Xoyos, 
aoj(f)p6va>s enpa^ev ■^ ov^ ovrcos eXeyes ; 


OvKOVV, chs eoLKev, iviore a>0eAt/x.a>s" irpd^as 
irpdrrei fiev aaxfipovcos /cat aa)(f>pov€X, dyvoeZ S' 
eavrov ori aaxfypovel ; 

'AAAo. rovro fxev, e^r], d> Sco/cpare?, ovk dv TTore 
yevoiro, dAA' et rt cri) otet e/c rcov efnrpoadev vtt* 
ifMov chpioXoy 7] jxevajv els rovro dvayKolov elvai 
D crvfM^aLveLv, eKelvcov dv ri eycoye p,dXXov ava^et/xTjv, 
/cat OVK dv alaxvvdeLTjv on p,rj oy;^t opdcos (f^avai 
elp-qKevaiy fiaXXov yj irore avyx^t^P'^croLLiJ,' dv dyvo- 
ovvra avrov eavrov dvOpconov aco(f)poveLV . a^^hov 
ydp Tt eycoye avrd rovro (jnqp^i elvai aco(f)poavvrjv, 
ro ytyvcjoarKetv eavrov, /cat avpi,(f>epojMat, rep ev 
AeX(f)OLS dvadevrt ro roiovrov ypdfxjjia. /cat ydp 
rovro ovrco p,oi 8o/cet rd ypa/x/xa dvaKetaOai, cos 817 
TTpoaprjGLS ovcra rov deov rcov eiaiovrtov avri rov 


doctor, in making someone healthy, makes a helpful 
result both for himself and for the person whom he 

I do. 

And he who does this does his duty ? 


Is not he who does his duty temperate ? 

Indeed he is. 

Well, and must the doctor know when his medicine 
will be helpful, and when not ? And must every 
craftsman kiiow when he is hkely to be benefited by 
the work he does, and when not ? 

Probably not. 

Then sometimes, I went on, the doctor may have 
done what is helpful or harmful without knoNsing the 
effect of his oa^ti action ; and yet, in doing what was 
helpful, by your statement, he has done temperately. 
Or did you not state that ? 

I did. 

Then it would seem that in doing what is helpful 
he may sometimes do temperately and be temperate, 
but be ignorant of his o%\'n temperance ? 

But that, he said, Socrates, could never be : if you 
think this in any way a necessary inference from my 
prexious admissions, I would rather withdraw some 
of them, and not be ashamed to say my statements 
were \sTong, than concede at any time that a man 
who is ignorant of himself is temperate. For I would 
almost say that this very thing, self-knowledge, is 
temperance, and I am at one with him who put up 
the inscription of those words at Delphi. For the 
purpose of that inscription on the temple, as it seems 
to me, is to sers-e as the god's salutation to those who 



E X^^P^> <^S" TOVTOV jjuev ovk opdov ovTos rod Trpoaprj- 
fjLaros, rov ;^atpetv, ouSe Selv rovro irapaKeXeveadac 
aAAT^Aot? aAAo. aa)(f>pov€LV . ovrui p,€V hrj 6 deos 
•npoaayopevei tovs elcriovTas els to Upov hia(j)ipov 
n •^ ol avdpcoTTOL, chs Stavoovfxevos avedrjKev 6 
dvadeis, cu? fioi SoKel- Kal Xeyei, -npos rov det 
etcrtoi/ra ovk ctAAo rt -q croj(f)p6v€t, (fjrjalv. alviypia- 
TcoSearepov 8e St], a*? /xavrt?, Ae'yef to yap yvwdi 
aavTov /cat to ao)<f)p6v€i eoTi fxev TavTov, d>s to. 
165 ypoLfifjiaTOL ^rjoi Kal iyco, Ta^o. 8' av tls olrjOcLTj 
CtAAo elvai, o S-q fiOL Sokovgl TraQelv Kal ol to, 
voTepov ypoLfifxaTa dvadevTcs, to t€ p,rjS€v dyav 
Kal TO iyyvTj rrdpa 8' ari^. /cat yap ovtoi ovp.- 
^ovXtjv (hrjdrjaav ctvai to yvcodi aavTov, dAA' ov 
rajv elaiovTOiV [eve/cev]^ viro tov Beov vpoaprjaiv 
eW^ Lva Srj Kal a^eis firjSev tjttov av/Ji^ovXds 
Xprjaifjiovs dvadelev, TavTa ypdifjavTcs dvedeaav. ov 
Srj ovv ere/ca Aeyco, cu HcoKpaTes, Tavra rrdvTa, 
ToS' eoTt' Ta p.kv epUTrpoadev aoi TrdvTa d<j)Lr]fxr 

B tacos p-ev ydp rt crv eXeyes ircpl avTcbv opdoTepov, 
taoj? 8' eyci, aacjiks 8' ovhev Trdvv ffv <Lv iXeyopuev 
vvv 8' ideXoj TovTov aoi 8t8ovat Xoyov, el fMrj 
opboXoyeis aco(f)poavvrjV elvai to yiyvojaKeiv avTov 

'AAA', rjv 8' eywy a> Kptrta, av /xev co? ^doKovros 

ip,ov et8eVat, rrepl cbv ipcoTcb, 7Tpoa(l)epT] Trpos /xe, 

/cat idv 8rj ^ovXcop^ai, ofMoXoyqaovTos aoi^- to S' 

' fveKev seel. Cobet. 

^ ofioXoyrjcrovrdi aoi Heiisde : ofioKoyrjcravTos (tov mss. 

^ Throughout this passage there is allusion to the thought 
or wisdom, implied in aucppovelv, and here Critias seeks to 
identify (ppSvei (" think well," " be wise ") with yvwdi (" know," 
" understand ") in the inscription yvwdi aavrov at Delphi. 


enter it, instead of " Hail ! " — this is a A\Tong form of 
greeting, and they should rather exhort one another 
\\ith the words, " Be temperate ! " And thus the 
god addresses those who are entering his temple in 
a mode which differs from that of men ; such was the 
intention of the dedicator of the inscription in putting 
it up, I beheve ; and that he says to each man who 
enters, in reality, " Be temperate I " But he says it 
in a rather riddling fashion, as a prophet would ; for 

Know thyself! " and " Be temperate ! " are the 
same, as the inscription ^ and I declare, though one is 
likely enough to think them different — an error into 
which I consider the dedicators of the later inscrip- 
tions fell when they put up " Nothing overmuch " * 
and " A pledge, and thereupon perdition." ^ For they 
supposed that " Know thyself ! " was a piece of 
ad\ice, and not the god's salutation of those who 
were entering ; and so, in order that their dedica- 
tions too might equally give pieces of useful ad\-ice, 
they wTote these words and dedicated them. Now 
my object in sapng all this, Socrates, is to abandon 
to you all the pre\ious argument — for, though 
perhaps it was you who were more in the right, or 
perhaps it was I, yet nothing at all certain emerged 
from our statements — and to proceed instead to 
satisfy you of this truth, if you do not admit it, that 
temperance is knowing oneself. 

\Miy, Critias, I said, you treat me as though I pro- 
fessed to know the things on which I ask questions, 
and needed only the \W11 to agree ^\•ith you. But the 

* 'Slr]8(v dyav appears first in Theognis, 335. 

' 'ET-yva -rdpa 5' drr), an old saying on the rashness of giving 
a pledge, is quoted in a fragment of Cratinns, the elder rival 
of Aristophanes. Cf. Proverbs xi. 15 — "He that is surety 
for a stranger shall smart for it." 



ovx ovrws €X€i, dAAa t,r]rcb yap jJicra aov aet to 
TTpoTLdefMcvov Sta TO fXTj avTOS clSevai' aKetpdpLCVo? 
C ovv ideXo) eiTTeiv €lt€ ofMoXoyw etre fit]. aAA' 
eTTLcrxes ew? civ oKeijjcoixai. 

K07T€L or], rj O OS". 

Kat yap, '^v S' eyc6, aKorro). el yap Srj yi- 
yvcoGKeiv ye tl icrnv rj ao)<f)poauv'q , SrjXov oVt 
eTTLaTrjp.'q rt? av etrj /cat Tivos" "^ ou; 

"EoTiv, e^Ty, eavTOV ye. 

OvKovv Kol laTpcKT], e(f)rjv, eTnoT'qp.ri iari tov 

Tidvv ye. 

El Toivvv pie, e<f)r]v, epoio av, laTpiKr} vyieivov 

e7TLcrTi]p,r) ovaa tl rjpiiv p^pTjcrt/Arj ecrri Kat ti aTrepyd- 

D l,eTai, €t7roi/x' av otl ov apiiKpdv (h<f>e\eiav ttjv yap 

vyieiav KaXov r]p,iv epyov dTTepydl,eTai, el OLTToSexfj 



Kai el Toivvv p,e epoto Trjv oiKoSopuiK-qv , evri- 
aTT]fj,r]V ovaav tov olKoSop,eiv, tl (f)rjp,i epyov dir- 
epydi^eadai, eivoip,^ av oti oiK'qaeis' (vaavTcos 8e 
/cat Tcov dXXcov Texi'wv. XPV ^^^ '^^^ '^^ VTrep Trj<; 
auo^poavvris, eTTeiSrj (f>rjs avT'qv eavTOV e7TiaTrjp,rjv 
etvat, ex€iv etTretv epcoTTjdevTa, aj Kptrta, acx)(f>po- 
avvrj, e7naTrip.rj ovaa eavTov, tL KaXov rjpLiv epyov 
E aTTepydt^eTai /cat d^iov tov dvopLOTOs ; Wi ovv, elrre. 

'AAA', (3 SaS/c/oares", e</»''7, ovk dpddJs ^rjTels. 
ov yap o/xoia avTrj necfiVKe rat? aAAai? eTrtarTy/xats', 
ovSe ye at dXXai d'AAats" av 8 o)? op,oio}v ovadJv 
TTOirj TTjV l^ifrrjaiv. eTrei Xeye p,oi, e(f)rj, Trj£ Xoyi- 
ariKrjs Texvrjs ^ ttjs yecop^eTpLKrjg tl eaTi tolovtov 
epyov OLov ot'/cta olKoSopiiKrj^ rj IpudTiov v(f)avTiKrjs 


fact of the matter is rather that I join you in the 
inquiry, each time that a proposition is made, because 
I myself do not know ; I ^vish therefore to consider 
first, before I tell you whether I agree or not. Now, 
give me a moment to consider. 

Consider then, he said. 

Yes, and I am considering, I said. For if temper- 
ance is knowing anything, ob\'iously it must be a kind 
of science, and a science of something, must it not ? 

It is, he rephed, and of itself. 

And medicine, I said, is a science of health ? 


Then if you should ask me, I said, wherein medicine, 
as a science of health, is useful to us, and what it 
produces, I should say it is of very great benefit, 
since it produces health ; an excellent result, if you 
allow so much. 

I allow it. 

And so, if you should ask me what result I take to 
be produced by building, as the builder's science, I 
should say houses ; and it would be the same with 
the other arts. Now it is for you, in your turn, to 
find an answer to a question regarding temperance — 
since you say it is a science of self, Critias — and to 
tell me what excellent result it produces for us, as 
science of self, and what it does that is worthy of 
its name. Come now, tell me. 

But, Socrates, he said, you are not inqxiiring 
rightly. For in its nature it is not hke the other 
sciences, any more than any of them is like any 
other ; whereas you are making your inquiry as 
though they were alike. For tell me, he said, what 
result is there of the arts of reckoning and geometry, 
in the way that a house is of building, or a coat of 



7J (xAAa Totaura epya, a TToAAa dv tls €xoi ttoXXcov 
166 T€;!^cuv Sei^ai; e;^ei? ow ^oi /cat cru roirrcuv 
roLOVTov Tt €pyov Set^at; dAA' ovx e^ets". 

Kat eyco cittov ort 'AAtj^t^ Aeyets" aAAa rdSe croL 
exo) Sei^at, TtVo? ecrrti' eTnarrnMT] e/cacrrTj Toirrcov 
TcSv eTTiarrj^iov , o rvyxo-v^i ov dXXo avrrjs Trjg 
€7rLcn-^fjt,'r]S' olov r) XoyicmKi^ iart ttov rod dpriov 
Koi rov TTepirrov, ttXtJOovs ottcos ^X^'' "^P^^ avrd 
Kal irpos dXXrjXa' rj yap; 

Ilavu ye, €(f)r]. 

OvKovv irepov ovros rov Trepvrrov /cat apriov 
avrrjs rrjs Aoytart/CT^?; 

JQcDs" 8' ov; 
B Kat firjv av r) arariKT] rov ^apvrepov /cat KOV(f)o- 
ripov crradfMov ecrriv [arariK-qY' erepov Be iari ro 
^apv re /cat Kov(f)ov rrjs arariKrjs avrrjs. avy- 


Ae'ye hrj, /cat r] a(0(f)poavvr) rivos eoriv eTTicrr'qp.rj, 
o rvyxdvei erepov ov avrrjs rrjs cra}cf)poavvr]s ; 

Tovro iariv eKelvo, e(f)r], w HcoKpares' eir avro 
rJKeLS ipevvdJv, oro) 8ta(/)ep€t Tratrctiv rcbv e7narrjp,ii)v 
rj (7co(f)poavvr]- av Se ofMOLorrjrd nva l,rjreis avrrjs 
C rat? aAAat?. ro 8' ovk eariv ovrcos, aAA at p^ev 
aAAat TTttCTat aAAou elalv e7Ti<jrrjp,ai, eavrwv 8' ov, 
rj 8e pLovrj rdJv re dXXcov e7narrjp.a)V eTTiarrjjxrj ecrri 
/cat avrrj eavrrjs. /cat ravrd ere ttoXXov Set AeA?^- 
devai, aAAa ydp, oi/Aat, o dpn ovk e^rjaBa TTOielv, 

* araTt.K'n seel. Heindorf. 


weaving, or other products of the sort that one might 
point to in various arts ? Well, can you, for your 
part, point to any such product in those two cases ? 
You cannot. 

To this I replied : What you say is true ; but I 
can point out to you what is the pecuhar subject of 
each of these sciences, distinct in each case from the 
science itself. Thus reckoning, I suppose, is con- 
cerned with the even and the odd in their numerical 
relations to themselves and to one another, is 
it not ? 

Certainly, he said. 

And you grant that the odd and the even are 
different from the actual art of reckoning ? 

Of course. 

And once more, weighing is concerned ^\•ith the 
hea\'ier and the hghter weight ; but the hea\-y and 
the light are different from the actual art of weighing : 
you agree ? 

I do. 

Then tell me, what is that of which temperance is 
the science, differing from temperance itself ? 

There you are, Socrates, he said : you push your 
investigation up to the real question at issue — in 
what temperance differs from all the other sciences — 
but you then proceed to seek some resemblance 
between it and them ; whereas there is no such thing, 
for while all the rest of the sciences have something 
other than themselves as their subject, this one alone 
is a science of the other sciences and of its o^^'n self. 
And of this you are far from being unconscious, since 
in fact, as I believe, you are doing the very thing you 
denied you were doing just now : for you are attempt- 



Tovro TToieis- e/xe yap inLX^Lpels eXiyx^iV, idaas 
TTepl ov 6 Xoyos eariv. 

Olov, rjv 8' iyd), ttoicls rjyovfjLevos , ei on fMaXiara 
ae iXeyxco, dXXov tlvos eVe/ca iXeyx^LV rj ovnep 
D eVe/ca Kotu ifiavrov BLepevvcpurjv ri Xeyco, <f)o^ov- 
ficvos p-r} TTore Xddco olop^evos p.ev tl elSevai, elSojs 
8e /i.7^. Kal vvv Srj ovv 'iycoye <j>'qp,L tovto Troielv, 
rov Xoyov aKOTrelv p.dXi(jra p,€V ip-avrov eVe/ca, icrcos 
Be Brj Kol rcov dXXcov iTTirrjSeloyv' rj ov kolvov o'Ui 
dyadov etvai ax^Sov ri Trdaiv dvdpwTTois, yiyveadai 
Kar agaves eKacrrov rcov ovtcov otty} ex^t; 

Kat p,dXa, rj 8' 6V, eyojye, cS Tia)KpaT€S. 

Qappcbv roivvv, rjV 8' eyctj, a> p^aKapte, aTTOKpivo- 

p,€vos TO €pa)r<x)p,€Vov otttj aoL ^atVerat, ea ;)(atpeti/, 

E €tT€ K/DtTiaj icTTLV €ir€ HcoKpdrTjs 6 eXeyxop-evos ' 

aAA' avTcp TTpoaexoiV rov vovv rw Xoyco okottcl^ 

OTTT) TTore eK^rjaer ai iXeyxopievos . 

'AAAa, €<f)r], TTOi'qaoj ovtco' So/ceis" ydp p.oi, p,€Tpla 

Aeye roivvv, -^v 8' iyo), Trepl rrjs aco(/)pocrvvrjs 
TTWS Xeyeis; 

Aeyo) roivvv, '^ 8' 6V, on, p,6vr) rcov dXXcov 
iTTLorrrjpicov avr'q re avrrjg ian /cat rcov dXXojv 
iTTLcrrripLCOV iTTiar-qpirj. 

OvKovv, rjv 8' iycx), Kal dveTnarrjp,oavvr]s im- 
ariqp,rj dv e'ir], eiTrep Kat €TnariqpLr]s ; 

Ildvv ye, €(f)r]. 
167 '0 dpa acx)(f>pcov povos avros re eavrov yvcocrerat, 
^ aKbirei. Heindorf : (FKoveiv aKoiretv mss. 


ing to refute me, without troubling to follow the 
subject of our discussion. 

How can you think, I said, if my main effort is to 
refute you, that I do it ^^•ith any other motive than 
that which would impel me to investigate the mean- 
ing of my o^^^l words — from a fear of carelessly 
supposing, at any raoment, that I knew something 
while I knew it not ? And so it is now : that is what 
I am doing, I tell you. I am examining the argument 
mainly for my o^wn sake, but also, perhaps, for that 
of my other intimates. Or do you not think it is for 
the common good, almost, of all men, that the truth 
about everything there is should be discovered .^ 

Yes indeed, he repUed, I do, Socrates. 

Then take heart, I said, my admirable friend, and 
answer the question put to you as you deem the case 
to be, without caring a jot whether it is Critias or 
Socrates who is being refuted : give the argument 
itself your attention, and observe what wiU become 
of it under the test of refutation. 

Well, he said, I will do so ; for I think there is a 
good deal in what you say. 

Then tell me, I said, what you mean in regard to 

Why, I mean, he said, that it alone of all the 
sciences is the science both of itself and of the other 

So then, I said, it "will be the science of the lack of 
science also, besides being the science of science ? ^ 

Certainly, he rephed. 

Then only the temperate person will know himself, 

^ Science or exact knowledge miist be able to measure not 
only the field of knowledge, but also that of its negation, 



Kai otos re earai i^crdaai ri re rvyxdvei etScu? 
/cat rt ix-q, Kol rovg dXXovs (haavrcos Bwaros earai 
eTnaKOTTeZv, ri ns olhe /cat oterat, e'Lirep otSe, /cat 
Tt av^ o'ierai [xev elSevai, olSe S' ov, rojv Se dXXojv 
ovSeis' /cat ecrri Stj rovro ro aco<j)povelv re /cat 
ao)(f)poavvr] /cat ro eavrov avrov yiyvcoaKeLv, ro 
elSevat d re otSe /cat a fMTj olSev. dpa ravrd iariv 
d Xeyeis; 

IlaAtv roivvv, rjv S' eyco, ro rpirov rcb crojrrjpi,, 
B oiOTtep i^ ^PXl^ eTnoKeifjcL/jbeda, TrpdJrov /xev el 
hvvarov eari rovro elvai r) ov, ro d olhe koX d p.rj 
oihev elhevai on, oiSe Kai on ovk olSev eneira el 
on fjidXtara Svvarov, ris dv eXf] rjfjLLV ox^eAia 
elSoaiv avro. 

'AAAa XPV) ^^V' (^KOTTeiv. 

"Idt 87^, e(f)riv eyio, w Kptrta, aKeipai, edv n Tvepi 
avrcov evTTopcorepos (f>avfjs efj,ov' eyd) fiev yap 
arropw' rj 8e aTTopd), (j>pdao) aoi; 

Yidvv y', e<j)ri. 

"AAAo n ovv, rjv 8' eycv, rrdvra raur' ai^ etr], el 

eanv onep av vvv Srj eXeyes, ns eTTLarijpbr], ■^ 

C OVK dXXov rivos eanv rj eavrrjs re Kai rdjv aXXwv 

imarr^fidjv emarr]p,r], /cat Stj /cat ave7narrjiJ,oavvr]s 

rj avrrj avrrj ; 

Udvv ye. 

'I8e St] <1)S droTTOv eTn-)(eipovp,ev , dj eralpe, Xeyeiv 
ev dXXotg yap ttov ro avro rovro edv crK07rfJ£, So^ei 
aot, coj eycpixaL, aSvvarov elvai. 

^ aZ Bekker : avrbs MSS. 

^ It was the custom at banquets to dedicate a third and 


and be able to discern what he really knows and 
does not know, and have the power of judging what 
other people hke^sise know and think they know, in 
cases where they do know, and again, what they 
think they know, %\ithout knowing it ; everyone else 
^\ill be unable. And so this is being temperate, or 
temperance, and knowing oneself — that one should 
know what one knows and what one does not know. 
Is that what you mean ? 

It is, he repHed. 

Once more then, I said, as our third offering to the 
Saviour,^ let us consider afresh, in the first place, 
whether such a thing as this is possible or not — ^to 
know that one knows, and does not know, what one 
knows and what one does not know ; and secondly, 
if this is perfectly possible, what benefit we get by 
knowing it. 

We must indeed consider, he said. 

Ck)me then, I said, Critias, consider if you can 
show yourself any more resourceful than I am ; for 
I am at a loss. Shall I explain to you in what way ? 

By all means, he replied. 

Well, I said, what all this comes to, if your last 
statement was correct, is merely that there is one 
science which is precisely a science of itself and of the 
other sciences, and moreover is a science of the lack 
of science at the same time. 


Then mark what a strange statement it is that we 
are attempting to make, my friend : for if you will 
consider it as apphed to other cases, you will surely 
see — so I beUeve — its impossibility. 

final wine-offering or toast to Zeus the Saviour. Cf, Pindar, 
Isthm. V. init. 



Hois' ^rj Kol TTOv; 

YiV roZahe. ivvoet yap et croi So/cet oiJjls tls elvai, 
7] ajv jxev at aAAat 6ifj€LS elaiv, ovk ecrri tovtcdv 
6i/jLS, iavrrjs Be /cat tcov aAAa)V otpecov 6i/jls iari, 
D /cat fiT] oipeojv djuavrcos, koL ;j^pajju,a ^xev opa ovSev 
oi/rt? ovaa, avrrjv 8e /cat ras dXXas o^eis' 8o/cet rls 
aoi etvai, roLavrrj; 
Met At" OVK efjuotye. 

Tt 8e d/coT^v, •i^ ^oivris jxev ovSefiids d/coJet, 
auT-^? 8e /cat tcDv dAAoiv d/cocDv' d/couet /cat tcuv' ^t^ 

OuSe Toyro. 

SfAATy^Si^v 8-)7 o"/co7ret Trepl Tracrcbv rcov alad-qcrcojv , 
et Tt's" CTOt 8o/cet etvat atadiqaeojv fj,ev aiadrjais /cat 
iavTTJs, cS;' 8e 8i) at dAAat alad-qaeis aladdvovrai, 
[XTjBevos aladavofxevrj ; 
Ovk e/xotye. 
E 'AAA' iTndvfJbia Bokcl tls ool elvai, rjris r)BovT]s 
jxev ou8e/Ltta? iarlv iTndvjJila, avrrjs 8e /cat reov 
dXXcov iTndvfJiLciJv ; 
Ov SrJTa. 

OvSe iJbrjv ^ovXr^ais, cos eytS/itat, rj dyaOov fxev 
ovBev ^ovXerai, avTrjv Be /cat rds d'AAas" ^ovXriaeis 
Ov yap ovv. 

"Epojra Be ^airfs dv nva etvai roiovrov, os 
Tvyxdvei div epcos KaXov p.ev ovBevos, avrov Be /cat 
rwv dXXcov epdiTOiv ; 
Ovk, e<^ri, eycoye. 

^o^ov Be tJBt] TLvd KaravevorjKas, o? envrov fjuev 
168 /cat Tovs dAAou? (f)6^ovs ^o^etrat, rcov BeLvcov 8' 
ovBe ev ^ojSetrat; 


How so ? In what cases ? 

In the followng : ask yourself if you think there 
is a sort of \ision which is not the \ision of things that 
we see in the ordinary way, but a \'ision of itself and 
of the other sorts of \ision, and of the lack of \'ision 
like^vise ; which, while being vision, sees no colour, 
but only itself and the other sorts of vision. Do you 
think there is any such ? 

Upon my word, I do not. 

And what do you say to a sort of hearing which 
hears not a single sound, but hears itself and the 
other sorts of hearing and lack of hearing ? 

I reject that also. 

Then take all the senses together as a whole, and 
consider if you think there is any sense of the senses 
and of itself, but insensible of any of the things of 
which the other senses are sensible. 

I do not. 

Now, do you think there is any desire which is the 
desire, not of any pleasure, but of itself and of the 
other desires ? 

No, indeed. 

Nor, again, is there a >Wsh, I imagine, that wishes 
no good, but wishes itself and the other -wishes. 

Quite so ; there is not. 

And would you say there is any love of such a sort 
that it is actually a love of no beauty, but of itself 
and of the other loves ? 

Not I, he rephed. 

And have you ever observed any fear which fears 
itself and the other fears, but has no fear of a single 
dreadful thing ? 



Ov KaravevorjKa, €(f)rj. 

Ao^av Se So^wv So^av Kal avrrjs, cuv Se at aAAat 
Sofa^oucrt fMTjSev So^d^ovaav ; 


AAA eTnarrjii'r]v , d>s eoiKe, (jiafxev rtva elvac 
Toiavrr^v, rjrig jxad-^fjiaros [Mev ovSevos iariv 
eTTtcTT-^fjir), avrrjg Se Kal rcov dXXcov einarrjiiojv 
eTTLcrrTJfirj ; 

Oa/xev yctp- 

OvKovv OLTOTTOV, el apo, Koi eari; /xTjSev yap ttco 
SuaxvpL^(x)iMe6a d)s ovk eariv, aAA' el eariv en 


B ^Opdcos Xeyeis. 

Oepe St}' euTL p,ev avrrj rj eTnaTrjp,rj tlvos em- 
cmjiJ.7], Kal ex€L tlvo, roiavr-qv Bvvafxiv wcrre rcvos 
etvar '^ yap; 

Ilavu ye. 

Kat yap to fiet^ov ^ap.ev roiavTrjv riva e)(€cv 
SvvafMLV, axrre tlvos elvac fxel^ov; 

OvKovv eXarrovog tivos, etrrep ear ai p.eit,ov. 
AvayKfj . 

Et ovv Tt evpoLjjbev [xel^ov, o tojv fiev iJ,eit,6va)v 

earl fjtell^ov Kal iavrov, a>v he raXXa yLiet^cu earl 

Q firjSevos /iet^ov, Travrcos av ttov €K€lv6 y avrco 

VTTapxoL, elrrep iavrov ixeZt^ov €Lr], Kal eXarrov 

eavrov etvai* 7) ov; 

UoXXr] avayKT], ecfi-q, (h Sa>/c/)ares". 

OvKovv Kal el tl hiTrXaaLov eari rcov re aXXayv 

^ At this point Socrates adduces the relation of greater to 
smaller {tlvos elvai fj-d^ov) to suggest a difficulty in conceiving 
a science to be a science of itself: in so deing he draws a 



No, I have not, he replied. 

Or an opinion which is an opinion of opinions and 
of itself, but without any opinion such as the other 
opinions have ? 

By no means. 

But it is apparently a science of this kind that we 
are assuming — one that is a science of no branch of 
study, but a science of itself and of the other sciences. 

So we are. 

And it is a strange thing, if it really exists ? For 
we should not affirm as yet that it does not exist, 
but should still consider whether it does exist. 

You are right. 

Well now, this science is a science of something, 
that is, it has a certain faculty whereby it can be a 
science of something, has it not ? 


For, you know, we say the greater has a certain 
faculty whereby it can be greater than something ? ^ 

Quite so. 

That is, than something smaller, if it is to be 


So if we could find a greater which is greater than 
other greater things, and than itself, but not greater 
than the things beside which the others are greater, 
I take it there can be no doubt that it would be in 
the situation of being, if greater than itself, at the 
same time smaller than itself, would it not ? 

Most inevitably, Socrates, he said. 

Or again, if there is a double of other doubles and 

false analogy between two quite different uses of the genitive 
in Greek, represented in English by the comparative " than " 
and the objective " of." 



SnrXacricov Kal iavrov, rj^jLiaeos St^ttov ovros iavrov 
re Kai roJv aiXXcov BtTrXdaiov av €irj' ov yap eari 
TTov dXXov StTrActCTiov r) riyLiaeog. 


YiXeov 8e avTov ov ov /cat eXarrov ecrrai, /cat 
papvrepov ov Kov(f)6r€pov, /cat irpea^vrepov ov 
D vecorepov, /cat raAAa Travra (Laavrcus , o ri irep dv 
TTjV iavTov SvvafjiLV irpos eavro '^X'0> '-'^ '^^^ eKelvrjV 
e^et T-qv ovaiav, Trpos rjv rj Swa/xt? avrov rjv; 
Xeyo) 8e to tolovBc olov rj aKO-q, (f)api€V, ovk dXXov 
TLVos rjv aKorj 7} (fxovrjs' rj yd-p; 


OvKovv ilrrep avrrj avrrjs aKovaerai, (fxovrjv 
ixovarjs iavrrjg aKovaeraf ov yap dv aXXcus 

IloXXrj avayKrj. 

Kat rj dijjis ye ttov, co dpLare, etnep oifjeTat avrrj 
eavTTjv, ;^/3a;jLia tl avrrjv avayKrj €X€iv' dxpoiv yap 
E oi/jis ovSev [dvY P-'q rrore iSrj. 
V yap ovv. 

'Opas OVV, CO Kptrta, ort 00a SLeXrjXvOafiev, rd 
fiev avTCJV dSwara TTavrdrraaL (^aiverai, rd 
S' dmareZraL a<f>6hpa p.rj ttot dv rrjv eavrdjv 
Bvvap,t,v irpds iavrd ax^tv; p,eyeOrj p,€V ydp /cat 
TrXrjdrj /cat rd roiavra TravraTTaaiv dhvvarov rj 

Yldvv ye. 

'A/COT] 8' av /cat oj/ft? /cat ert ye Kivrjais avrrj 

eavrrjv Kivelv, /cat depp,6rrjs /catetv, /cat rrdvra av 

169 TCI Totaura rot? p,ev aTnariav <dv >^ rrapdaxoi, 

lacos 8e Ttcrtv ov. [MeydXov §17 rivog, at <f)iXe, 

^ tv secl. Stallbaura. ^ h.v add. Heindorf. 



of itself, both it and the others must of course be 
halves, if it is to be their double ; for, you know, a 
double cannot be " of " anything else than its half. 


And what is more than itself vnW also be less, and 
the hea\ier \\ill be lighter, and the older younger, 
and so on \nth. ever^-thing else : whatever has its 
own faculty apphed to itself will have also the 
natural quahty to which its faculty was appUcable, 
viiW it not ? For instance, hearing is, as we say, just 
a hearing of sound, is it not ? 


So if it is to hear itself, it vriW hear a sound of its 
own ; for it would not hear otherwise. 

Most inevitably. 

And sight, I suppose, my excellent friend, if it is 
to see itself, must needs have a colour ; for sight can 
never see what is colourless. 

No more it can. 

Then do you perceive, Critias, in the various cases 
we have propounded, how some of them strike us as 
absolutely impossible, while others raise serious 
doubts as to the faculty of the thing being ever 
applicable to itself ? For with magnitudes, numbers, 
and the like it is absolutely impossible, is it not ? 


But again, with hearing and sight, or in the further 
cases of motion moving itself and heat burning itself, 
and all other actions of the sort, the fact must appear 
incredible to some, but perhaps not to others. So 
what we want, my friend, is some great man who 



avSpo? Set, OGTLS TOVTo Kara Travrcov iKavcos 
OLaLprjaerat, Trorepov ovhkv rcov ovrcov rrjv avrov 
SvvafiiV avTO npos iavro 7Te(f>VK€V e;\;etv [TrXrjV 
i'TTLaT'qiJLrjs],^ aAAo. Trpos aAAo, -rj ra fxev, ra 8' ou* 
Kai €t eariv av drtva avra Trpos iavra ^x^i, ap' iv 
roxjTOLS coTLV i'TTiamjiJir) , rjv St) rffiels aa)<f)po(Jvv7]v 
<pap.ev ctvai. eyoj jxkv ov TTLarevw ifiavrcp t/cai-'os" 
eivai, ravra SieXeadai' Sio /cat ovt^ el Svvarov eari 

B TOVTO yeveaOai, eTndTiqfxris €7naT'qp,'r]v etvai, e^o) 
SuaxvpioaadaL, ovr^ €t ort fiaXLora eari, aa>(j>po- 
avvrjv aTTohexop^ai avTO elvai, Tvplv av CTTtcr/cei/'cojLtat, 
etre tl av rjfids co^eAot toiovtov 6v, €lt€ /xry. ttjv 
yap ovv Srj craxfypoavvriv (IxjiiXipiov tl /cat ayadov 
fiavTevo/jiai, elvai' av ovv, co iral Ys^aXXaiaxpov — 
rtdeaau yap aax^poavviqv tout' etvat, iinaTriiirjV 
einaTrjixrjs /cat St] /cat dv€7TicrTr]p.oavvrjs — npcoTov 
fiev TOVTO evBiL^ai, on Svvarov [aTroSet^at o'eY o 
vvv Srj eXcyov, eVetTa rrpog to) hwarco ori /cat 

C oi^eXijMov KOifie rdx ov aTTOTrXripdyaaLS , co? opdcos 
Xeyeis rrepl aoi^poavvqs , o eariv. 

Kat o KptTta? aKOvaas ravra /cat tScov p.€ 
dnopovvra, cooTrep ol rovs x^'^t^^l^^^^^^ Karavri- 
Kpv opcovres ravrov rovro avpLTrdaxovai, KaKelvos 
eSo^e fioi v'n e/xou drropovvros dvayKaadrjvai /cat 
auToj aAcDvai vtto dTTopias. are ovv evSoKipiwv 
eKacrroTe, jjoxvvero roi)? rrapovras , /cat ovt€ 
Gvyxcoprjaal [xoi -rjdeXev dSvvaros ctvai SteXeadai 

J) a 7rpovKaXovfJi7]v avrov, eXeye re ovhev aracpeg, 
eTTiKaXvTTTCjov r7)v dnopiav. /cayo) tjixlv Iva 6 Xoyog 
rrpoLOi, elrrov 'AAA' €t So/cet, c3 KptTt'a, vvv fiev 

^ irXrjv iiriaT-qpLTjs secl. Schleiermacher. 
* dirodel^al ce secl. Heindorf. 



will determine to our satisfaction in every respect 
whether there is nothing in nature so constituted as 
to have its own faculty apphcable to itself, and not 
only some other object, or whether there are some 
such, and others not such ; and whether, again, if 
there are things that have such relation to themselves, 
they include a science which we assert to be temper- 
ance. For my part, I distrust my own competence 
to determine these questions, and hence I am neither 
able to affirm whether it is possible that there should 
be a science of science, nor -wilUng, let it be ever so 
true, to acknowledge this to be temperance until I 
have made out whether such a thing as this would 
benefit us or not. For, you see, I have a presenti- 
ment that temperance is something beneficial and 
good ; and you, therefore, son of Callaeschnis — 
since you lay it down that temperance is this verj'' 
science of science, and moreover of the lack of science 
— shall first indicate the possibihty, as I put it just 
now, and then the benefit added to the possibiUt)^, 
of such a thing ; and perhaps you will then satisfy 
me that your definition of temperance is correct. 

Now when Critias heard this and saw me in a 
difficulty, he seemed to me — jxist as the sight of 
someone yawning opposite causes people to be 
affected in the same way — to be compelled by the 
sense of my difficulty to be caught in a difficulty him- 
self. And so, since he usually contrived to distinguish 
himself, he was too ashamed to bring himself to admit 
to me before the company that he was unable to 
determine the questions with which I challenged 
him, and he made a very indistinct reply in order to 
conceal his difficulty. Then I, to forward the dis- 
cussion, remarked : Well, if you prefer, Critias, let 



rovTO avyxoJp''^cr(Ofi€V , Svvarov elvat, yeviaOai 
€7ncm]iJ,r)v iTnarrjfirjg' av9is 8e e77io-/<rei/'o/xe0a etre 
ovrcos €X€i, €LT€ fi'q . Wl Srj ovv, el ort fidXtcrra 
Bwarov rovTO, ri fxaXXov olov re iariv elhevai a 
re TLS oiSe /cat a [M-q; rovro yap St^ttou e<pafiev 
elvai TO yiyvcocTKeiv avrov /cat aci)(f)pov€tv rj yap; 

Ilai'y ye, t^ 8 os, /cat avix^aivei ye ttov, (h 
E YiCx)Kpares . el yap ris e-)(et eTnaTrjiir]v rj avrrj 
avrrjv yiyvioaKei, tolovtos av avros elt] olovirep 
earlv o ex^i. waTrep orav rdxos tis ^XJl' '^'^X^^> 
/cat orav /caAAos", KaXos, /cat orav yvutaiv, yiyvco- 
aKOJV orav 8e Sr] yvcoaiv avrrjv avrrjs ns ^xj], 
yiyvayaKiov ttov avros eavrov rore ear at. 

Ov rovro, rjv 8' eyco, ajit^tcr^TyTco, cLs ovx orav 
TO avro yLyvcocTKov ris ^xj), avros avrov yvioaerat, 
dAA' exovrt rovro rls dvdyKrj elhevai a re olhe /cat 
a 117] otSev ; 
170 "Ort, tS TiioKpares, r avrov ecrn rovro eKeivcp. 

"Icrcos", e<f>'r]v, aAA' eyco /ctv8yv€ua> del o/jloios 
elvai,- ov yap av fiavddvo) ojs ecrrt ro avro a olBev 
elSevat, /cat a ris fi^j oiSev elSevat. 

Ilcbs Xeyets, €(f>7j; 

^Q.Se, rjv 8' eyo). eTnarrjiir] ttov €Trt,ari]p.r)s ovaa 
dpa TTXelov ri ota r earai Stat/aetv, rj ort rovrcov 
rohe [xev eTTLor'qfi'q, ro 8' ovk err Lorij [jLT) ; 

OvK, dXXd roaovrov. 
B T avrov ovv earlv eTTicrr-qpirj re /cat dveTTiar'qixo- 
avvq vyieivov, /cat eTnarrjp.rj re /cat dveTnarrjfjLocrvvr] 

OvBajjbcos . 

'AAAo. TO nev, ot/xat, larpiKri, ro he TToXiriKi^, ro 
he ovhev Q-XXq t] €TTicrTrjp.r). 


us concede for the moment that there may possibly 
be a science of science : some other time we shall 
consider whether such is the fact or not. Come then ; 
suppose it is perfectly possible : how is one helped 
thereby to know what one knows and does not know ? 
For this, you are aware, we said ^ was the meaning 
of self-knowledge and temperance, did we not ? 

Certainly, he said ; and it must surely follow, 
Socrates ; for if a man has a science which knows 
itself, he will be similar himself to that which he has. 
For instance, he who has swiftness will be s\^ift, he 
who has beauty will be beautiful, and he who has 
knowledge \^^ll know ; and when he has knowledge 
that is of itself, he will then, surely, be in the position 
of knowing himself. 

I do not dispute, I said, that when a man has that 
which knows itself he will know himself ; but having 
that, how is he bound to know what he knows and 
what he does not know ? 

Because, Socrates, the two things are the same. 

I daresay, I said ; but I am afraid I am still my old 
self : I still do not see how knowing what one knows 
and does not know is the same as the other. 

How do you mean ? he asked. 

In this way, I replied : will a science of science, if 
such exists, be able to do more thandetermine that one 
of two things is science, and the other is not science ? 

No, only that. 

Now, is science or lack of science of health the 
same as science or lack of science of justice } 

By no means. 

For the one, I suppose, is medicine, and the other 
politics, while the thing in question is merely science. 

1 167 a. 



ITois" yap ov; 

OvKovv iav fiTj TTpoaeTTLcrrrjTaL ris ro vyLeivov 
Kal TO SlKaiov, dAA' iTTLcrr'qiJb'qv fiovov yuyvcocrKri 
aire rovrov fxovov exojv eTnarrjpjfjv , oti, fjuev ri 
CTTtWarat Kal ori eTnarrip,r]v rwa ex€(., et/cdrcos" oiv 
yiyva>aKOL /cat Trepl avrov Kal nepl Tcbv aAAcov 

•»? yap: 

C "0 Tt 8e ytyvioaKci, ravrrj rfj iTrtar'^pirj ttcos 
etareTai; yiyvcboKei yap Si) ro p.kv vyiewov rfj 
larpiKfj aAA' ov aoi^poavvQ, to 8' apjjioviKov 
{xovGLKfj aAA' ov act)<j)poavvri, ro 8 oiKohopLiKov 
OLKoSofiLKfj aAA' ov (jaj(l>poavvr] , Kal ovroj rravra' 
rj ov; 


ljOJ(f)poavvr] 8e, etVep puovov iarlv eTncrrrjiicbv 
eTTicrrrifxri , ttcos etcrerat on. ro vyteivov yiyvcoaKei 
rq on ro oIkoSo[Xik6v ; 


OvK apa etcrerat o ot8€»' d rovro ayvocijv, aAA 
on otSe fxovov. 

D OvK apa aoi^poveiv rovr' av et-q ovSe aa>(f>po(TVvrj , 
etSeVat a re olSe Kal d fir] oi8ev, aAA', d)s eoiKev, 
on olSe Kal on ovk olSe jjlovov. 


Ou8e aAAov apa otd? re earai ovros e^erctcrai 
<j)daKovrd n irriaraadai, TTorepov CTnararai 6 
(f)7](nv eTTLcrraadai -q ovk irriararat,' dXXa roaovrov 
jxovov, d)s eoLK€, yvwaerai, on exei nva eTna-r-q/jb-qv, 
orov 8e ye, r) ao)<j>poavvrj ov TTOfqaei avrov 
ytyv(x)(TKeiv . 


Yes, to be sure. 

And if a man has no added knowledge of health 
and justice, but knows only science, as ha\ing science 
of that alone, he will probably know that he has a 
certain piece of scientific knowledge about himself 
and about other people, A\ill he not ? 


But how will this science help him to know what he 
knows } For of course he knows health by means of 
medicine, not temperance, and harmony by means 
of music, not temperance, and building by means of 
the builder's art, not temperance ; and so it ^^^ll be 
in every case, Avill it not ? 


And how will temperance, supposing it is only a 
science of sciences, help him to know that he knows 
health, or that he knows building ? 

By no means. 

Then he who is ignorant of all this ^\^ll not know 
what he knows, but only that he knows. 

So it seems. 

Then being temperate, or temperance, \n\\ not be 
this knowledge of what one knows or does not know, 
but, it would seem, merely knowing that one knows 
or does not know. 

It looks like it. 

Then such a person \\i\\ also be unable to examine 
another man's claim to some knowledge, and make 
out whether he knows or does not know what he says 
he knows : he will merely know, it would seem, that 
he has a certain knowledge ; but of what it is, 
temperance will not cause him to know. 



Oj) ^atVerai. 
E Ovre dpa rov TTpoaTTOiovfjLcvov larpov eZvai, ovra 
8e fiT], Kal Tov (hs aXr]da)s ovra olos re earai 
oiaKpiveiv, ovre dXXov ovhiva ra>v i7narr]p,6va>v 
/cat p,7]. aK€ipa}[j,€6a Se e/c rcjvhe' el /xe'AAet o 
aaxfipcov -q oariaovv dXXog rov coy dX7]da)s larpov 
SiayvcocreaOaL /cat rov p,rj, dp* ovx coSe TTOL-qaei' 
TTepi p.ev larpiKrjg S-qnov avrto ov StaAe^erat- ovhev 
yap cTratet, cos" e^aixev, 6 larpos aAA' rj ro vyieivov 
Kal ro voawSes' rj ov; 

Nat, ovrcos. 

Uepi Se ye €7Ti,(TrrjiX7]s ovSev olSev, aAAa rovro 
Brj rfj aa><f)poavvrj fMovjj dTreSofxev. 


Ou8e rrepl larpLKrjs dpa otSev 6 larpiKog, eTrei- 
171 S-qTTep rj larpiKT) eTncm^fMr) oSaa rvyxdvei. 


"On fiev Srj €7ncn"i^p.7jV rivd e^^L, yvcoaerat, 6 
ad>(f)pa>v rov larpov Seov Se^ irelpav Xa^elv rjrxs 
iartv, dXXo ri aKeijjerai (Lvrtvcov ; -^ ov rovro) 
ojpiaraL eKaarrj eTTiarrjpiri /jltj /jlovov e7narrjp,ri elvai 
dXXd Kal ris, ro) rivcov elvai; 

Tovrcp p.ev ovv. 

Kat rj larpiKT] Srj erepa elvai rdv dXkoiv eTTtarrrj- 
jjiiov d>piad7] ru> rov vyieivov elvai Kal voawSovg 
eTTiar-qpirj . 


OvKovv ev rovrois avayKatov aKorreiv rov j8ou- 
IB Xojjievov larpiKrjv oKorreiv, ev ols nor* euriv ov 
yap Stjttov ev ye rois e^o), ev oi? ovk eariv ; 

Ov Srjra. 

' S^ov 8i Goldbacher : Set 5i), de 5r} mss. 



Apparently not. 

So he will be able to distinguish neither the man 
who pretends to be a doctor, but is none, from the 
man who really is one, nor any other man who has 
knowledge from him who has none. But let us 
consider it another way : if the temperate man or 
anybody else would discriminate between the true 
doctor and the false, he will go to work thus, will he 
not ? He will surely not talk to him about medicine ; 
for, as we were saying, the doctor understands 
nothing else but health and disease. Is not that so ? 

Yes, it is. 

But about science he knows nothing, for that, you 
know, we assigned to temperance alone. 


So the medical man knows nothing about medicine 
either, since medicine is, of course, a science. 


Then the temperate man will know, indeed, that 
the doctor has a certain science ; but when he has 
to put its nature to the proof, must he not consider 
what its subjects are ? Is not each science marked 
out, not merely as a science, but as a particular one, 
by the particular subjects it has ? 

It is, to be sure 

And medicine is marked out as different from the 
other sciences by being a science of health and 


And so anyone who wishes to inquire into medicine 
must make those things, whatever they may be, with 
which it is concerned, the matter of his inquiry ; not 
those foreign things, I presume, with which it is not ? 

No, indeed. 



Ei^ TOLS vyicLvois dpa /cat voawSeacv eTnaKeifjerai 
rov larpov, fj larpiKos iariv, 6 opdcos crK07TOV[X€vos • 


OvKovv iv TOLS ovrcos r) Xeyopievoig r) 7TparTop,e- 
voLs TO. [xev Xeyofieva, el dXr^drj Aeyerat, ctkottov- 
ficvos, rd Be Trparrofieva, et 6p9d>s Trpdrrerai; 

^AvdyKT) . 

'H ovv avev laTpiKrjs Swair' dv tls tovtcov 
TTorepotg CTraKoXovOrjaaL ; 

Ov Srjra. 
C Ou8e ye aAAo? onsets', co? €olk€, ttXtjv larpos, 
ovre St] 6 ad)<f>pa>v' larpos ydp dv eiiq Trpog rfj 
aa)(f)poavvrj . 

"Ectti raura. 

Uavros dpa fiaXXov, el rj aco^poavvrj CTTicTTiqpLiqs 
eTnar-qpirj pLovov ecrrt Kal dv€7Ti(7r7]p,oavvrjs , ovre 
larpov SiaKplvaL oia re ecrrai eTTtarrdpbevov ra rrjs 
reyyris ri fi-q eTTiardpievov , 7rpoa7TOLOvp,evov Se t] 
ol6p,€vov, ovre dXXov ovSeva rwv eTnarafjievcDV Kai 
ortovv, ttAtJv' ye rov avrov opuorexvov, warrep ol 
aAAoi SrjpiLovpyoL 

OatVerat, e(f)r]. 
D TtV ovv, 'qv S' eydi, c5 K/Jtria, (L^eXia tjijlIv en 
dv eir] ttTTo rrjs acoijipoavvrjs roLavrrjs ovarjs ; el p^ev 
ydp, o e^ oipXV^ VTTendepLeda, jjSeL 6 adycfypcov d re 
jjBei Kal d pbrj rfSei, rd pLev dri olSe, rd 8' on ovk 
oiSe, Kal ctAAov r avrov rovro TreTTovdora ein- 
GKeiftaadaL olos re rjv, pieyaXcoarl dv rjpuv, (f)apev, 
w(f>eXtp,ov rjv ad)(l)poat,v etvaf avapbaprrjroi yap 
dv rov ^Lov SLet,d)pi,ev avroi re [/cai]^ ol rrjv cto)- 
<f>poavvrjv e^ovres Kal ol dXXoi Trdvres oaoi v(f) 

' Kal del. Heindorf. 


Then he who conducts his inquiry aright will con- 
sider the doctor, as a medical man, in connexion with 
cases of health and disease. 

So it seems. 

And will inquire whether, in what is said or done 
in such cases, his words are truly spoken, and his acts 
rightly done ? 

He must. 

Well now, could anyone follow up either of these 
points without the medical art ? 

No, indeed. 

Nobody at all, it would seem, but a doctor ; and 
so not the temperate man either : for he would have 
to be a doctor, in addition to his temperance. 

That is so. 

Then inevitably, if temperance is only a science of 
science and of lack of science, it will be equally un- 
able to distinguish a doctor who knows the business 
of his art from one who does not know but pretends 
or thinks he does, and any other person who has 
knowledge of anything at all : one will only dis- 
tinguish one's fellow-artist, as craftsmen usually can. 

Apparently, he said. 

Then what benefit, I asked, Critias, can we still 
look for from temperance, if it is like that ? For if, 
as we began by assuming, the temperate man knew 
what he knew and what he did not know*, and that 
he knows the one and does not know the other, and 
if he were able to observe this same condition in 
another man, it would be vastly to our benefit, we 
agree, to be temperate ; since we should pass all our 
lives, both we who had temperance and all the rest 



^■qfjiajv -rjpxovro. ovre yap av avToi iTrex^cpovfJLev 
TTpdrretv a fj.r) rjTnarrdixeda, dAA' i^evpiaKOvrcs 
Tovs iTnarajJievovs eKeivoLS av TTapehihop,ev, ovrc 
TOLS dXXoLS eTTerpeTTOfjiev, cbv TJpxofxev, dXXo tl 
irparreLV rj 6 tl Trpdrrovres opdws e/xeAAov Trpd^etv 
TOVTO S' -qv dv, ov eTnarrijXT]v elxov Kal ovrco Sr] 
V7TO aa)(j)poavvr]g ot/cta re olKov/Mevrj e/xeAAe KaXcos 
OLKeladai, ttoXls re TToXirevopbivri, /cat aAAo irdv ov 
172 aoi(f)poavvi) dp^of dfiapTLas yap i^rjprjjjievrjs, 6p66- 
TTjTos Se Tjyovfjievrjs, iv Trdarj irpd^ei dvayKalov 
KaXdJs Kal €v TTpdrreiv rovs ovtcd StaKei/xeVofS", 
TOVS 8e ei) TTpdrrovTas evBaipiovas elvai. dp* ovx 
ovTCos, "^v S' iyd), CO KpLTia, iXeyofiev nepl aco(f)po- 
avvTjs, Xeyovres oaov dyadov eLt] to elSevai d re 
Otoe Tis /cat a jiti) otoer; 

Yldvv fiev ovv, €<f)r), ovtcos. 

Nw 8e, rjv 8' iyci), opas ort ouSa^ou e7TLaTiqp.rj 
ovhep,ia ToiavTT] ovaa TrecfiavTat. 

'Opco, €(f)rj. 
B *Ap' ovv, rjv 8' iyd), tovt* ^X^^ "^^ ayadov r]v vvv 
evpiCTKOfiev aoi^poavvqv ovaav, to emaT'qp.rjV cttl- 
GTaaQai /cat dveTnaTTjpioavvrjv , otl 6 TavTrjv exojv, 
6 TL dv aAAo jjLavddvr], paov re fiad-qacTai /cat iv- 
apyeaTcpa Travra avTcu ^ai^etrat, are Trpos eKdarco 
(L dv fj,av9dvr) TrpooKadopdJvTL ttjv emaT-^iJirjV' 
Kal TOVS dXXovs 8r) KdXXtov i^eTdcrei irepl Sv dv 
Kal avTos P'dOr), ol 8e dvev tovtov i^CTd^ovTes 
dadevecTTepov Kal (jiavXoTepov tovto Bpdaovaiv ; 
dp* , d) (fjiXe, TOiavT* arra cgtIv a aTroXavaofieOa 


who were governed by us, without error. For neither 
should we ourselves attempt to do what we did not 
know, instead of finding out those who knew and 
placing the matter in their hands, nor should we 
permit others under our governance to do ami:hing 
but what they were hkely to do aright ; and they 
would do that when they had knowledge of it ; and 
so it would be that a house which was ordered, or a 
state which was administered, as temperance bade, 
and everji;hing else that was ruled by temperance, 
could not but be well ordered ; for with error 
abohshed, and Tightness leading, in their every action 
men would be bound to do honoiu-ably and well under 
such conditions, and those who did well would be 
happy. Did we not so speak of temperance, I said, 
Critias, when we remarked how great a boon it 
was to know what one knows and what one does 
not know ? 

To be sure we did, he replied. 

Whereas now, I went on, you see that nowhere can 
any such science be found. 

I see, he said. 

Then may we say, I asked, that there is this good 
point in the knowledge of knowledge and of lack of 
knowledge, which we now find to be what temperance 
is, that he who has it will not only learn more easily 
whatever he learns, but >vill perceive everything 
more plainly, since besides the particular things that 
he learns he will behold the science ; and hence he 
will probe more surely the state of other men respect- 
ing the things which he has learnt himself, while those 
who probe without such knowledge will do it more 
feebly and poorly ? Are these, my friend, the kind 
of advantages that we shall gain from temperance ? 



C TTJs ao)(f>poavvr]g , rj/jiels 8e /xet^ov rt ^XeTTO/Jiev Kal 
i,rjroviJi€v avro fjbell^ov tl elvat r) oaov iariv ; 

Tap^a S' av, '^4^1), ovtojs ^xol. 

' Icrojs", 171^ S eycu* taco? Se ye rjfJieLs ovSev XPV' 
arov ei^TjT'qaafJbcv. re/vr/iatpo/xat 8e, ort /Ltot oltott' 
arra Kara<f)aiV€Tai irepl aa)(f>poavvr]g, el roiovrov 
eaTiv. Ihoijxev yip, el ^ovXec, avyxcop'qcravTes Kal 
eTTtaraadaL eTTLcrrrifirjv Svuarov elvaL [etSevat]/ 
Kal 6 ye €$ o.px^^ eridefieda aoj(f)poavvr)v elvac, ro 
elSevai, a re olSe Kal a fxrj otSe, p,rj aTToarepria<jopi.ev , 
D aXXa StS/ief • /cat iravra ravra hovres eVt ^eXriov 
(TKei/jcofieda, el dpa ri /cat rijxas oviqaei tolovtov 6v. 
a yap vvv Srj eXeyop^ev, d>s fieya av e'lr] dyadov r) 
aix}(f)poavv7] , el tolovtov e'irj, rjyovp,evrj SioiKT^aecos 
Kal olKias /cat TToXeoiS, ov p,oi SoKovp^ev, c3 Kptria, 
KaXaJs d>fjLoXoy7]Kevat . 

Hdtg 87^; rj 8' OS". 

"On, -^v 8' iyco, pahicos (hfioXoynjaapbev p.eya ti 
ayaOov etvai toIs dvdpdjTTOis, el e/cacrrot rip,d)v,d 
p,ev taacTL, TrpoTTOiev rayra, a he p,'q eTnoTaiVTO , 
a'AAot? 7rapa8t8otei^ toi? eTnGTap,€voig . 
E OvK ovv, e(f)rj, KaXdJs (Lp.oXoy-qcrafMev ; 

Ov fioi SoKovp,ev, rjv 8' iyo). 

"AroTT-a Xeyeis cos dXrjdcos, eV*^* ^ ^iOKpaTeg. 

Nrj Tov Kvva, e(l)rjv, Kal ep^oi tol 80/cet ovtoj' 
KOVTavOa^ Kal a/art aTTO^Xeijjas aVoTra y' e^Tjv' /i,ot 
7Tpo(j)aiveadai, Kal otl cf)oPoip,'rjv p,r] ovk opdojs 
cr/coTTOt/xev. (Ls dXrjOaJs yd-p, et otl /xaAtoTa 
TOLOVTOV eoTLV 7] aco<f)poavvr], ovhev /xot 87^Aov 
173 etvat 8o/cet o tl dyadov rjfids dTTepydt,eTaL. 

^ eldifai seel. Heusde. 



But are we really looking at something greater, and 
requiring it to be something greater than it really is ? 

Probably, he rephed, that is so. 

I daresay, I said ; and I daresay also our inquiry 
has been worthless. And this I conclude, because I 
observe certain strange facts about temperance, if it 
is anything like that. For suppose, if you please, we 
concede that there may possibly be a science of 
science, and let us grant, and not ^v•ithdraw, our 
original proposition that temperance is the knowledge 
of what one knows and does not know ; granting all 
this, let us still more thoroughly inquire whether on 
these terms it \\i\\ be of any profit to us. For our 
suggestion just now, that temperance of that sort, as 
our guide in ordering house or state, must be a great 
boon, was not, to my thinking, Critias, a proper 

How so ? he asked. 

Because, I rephed, we too lightly admitted that it 
would be a great boon to mankind if each of us should 
do what he knows, but should place what he did not 
know in the hands of others who had the knowledge. 

Well, was that, he asked, not a proper admission : 

Not to my mind, I answered. 

In very truth, your words are strange ! he said, 

Yes, by the Dog, I said, and they strike me too in 
the same way ; and it was in view of this, just now, 
that I spoke of strange results that I noticed, and said 
I feared we were not inquiring rightly. For in truth, 
let temperance be ever so much what we say it is, I 
see nothing to show what good effect it has on us. 

* ovTu- Kovravda Hermann : oitws ei evTavOa, oitus, ovruxrl 
ivravda mss. 



Ilcos Sij; rj 8' 09. Aeye, ti^a Kat rjiiets etScDuev 
o Tt Aeyecs. 

Ot/Ltat /.tei', T^v 8' iyo), Xiqpelv /xe* ojLto)? to ye 
7Tpo(f)aiv6iJi€vov avayKOLOv or/coTretv /cat /xi^ ^''<^^ 
TTapievai, ei Tt? ye auToy Kai ofUKpov K-qherai. 

KaAcDs" y<x/3, e^Ty, Ae'yet?. 

A/foue 87^, €(f)r]v, TO ifiov ovap, etre 8ta Keparwv 
etTe 8t' eAe'^avTos" eXujXvBev. et ya/3 oTt fxaXiara 
r]pia)v dpxoi 17 aaxfjpoavvq, ovaa otav vvv 6pil,6p.eda, 
B dAAo Tt /caTO, TO,? eTTtaTTy/xa? ttcivt' av^ Trpdrroiro, 
icai ouTe Tt? Kv^epvqrrjs (fxiaKcov eivai, cov 8e ou, 
i^aTTaru) dv rjfj,ds, ovre larpos ovre arpar-qyos ovr^ 
aAAo? oi;8ets', TrpoaTTOtovfievog ri etSeVat o /xt) ot8e, 
Xavddvot, dv e/c 8t) TOirro^v ovrcos exovrcov dXXo dv 
rjfjLLV TL Gvp.^aivoi rf vyUai re rd arcofxara etvat 
jjbdXXov rj vvv, /cat ev rfj daXdrrr) KLvBvv€Vovras /cat 
iv TToXejXcp arqj^eadai, /cat rd crKevrj /cat rrjv djUTre- 
C X'^^W '^'^^ j57rd8eatv' Trdaav /cat to, xPVH'^'^'^ Trdvra 
r€XviKa>i5 rjpuv clpyaafieva ett'ai /cat dAAa ttoAAo, 
8td TO dXrjdLVOLS SrjfXiovpyoLS ;^/37^(T^at; et 8e ^od- 
Aotd ye, /cat tt)^ fiavriKrjv ett-at crvyxcopTjarcofMcv 
eTTKTrrnxrjv rov fieXXovros eaeadai, /cat Ti^r aco^po- 
avv7]v, avrrjs eniararovaav, rovs fiev dAa^dva? 
aTTOTpeTTiiv, rovs Se cos dXrjddis p^dvreis Kadiardvai 
rjp,lv TTpo^rjr as rcov fxeXXovrcov . Kar€aK€vaap,evov 
Sr) ovrco ro dvOpiOTTivov yivos ori p,ev i7narrjp,6vciis 
D dv TTpdrroL /cat ^<ij'»7, eVo/xat* rj ydp aco^poctvvrj 
(f)vXdrrovaa ovk dv icp-q Trapep^TTLTrrovGav rrjv 
aveinarrjpLoavvqv avvepyov r^puv etvat* oTt 8 
eTTiarrjfjbovoJS dv Trpdrrovres eu dv Trparroifiev Kat 

' irdvT av Burnet : iravra Stobaeiis, av mss. 
'^ fj add. Heindorf. 

78 ' ■ 


How so ? he asked : tell us, in order that we on 
our side may know what you mean. 

I expect, I said, I am talking nonsense : but still 
one is bound to consider what occurs to one, and not 
idly ignore it, if one has even a little concern for 

And you are quite right, he said. 

Hear then, I said, my dream, whether it has come 
through horn or through ivory. ^ Suppose that 
temperance were such as we now define her, and 
that she had entire control of us : must it not be that 
every act would be done according to the sciences, 
and no one professing to be a pilot when he was not 
would deceive us, nor would a doctor, nor a general, 
nor anyone else pretending to know something he 
did not know, go undetected ; and would not these 
conditions result in our having greater bodily 
health than we have now, safety in perils of the sea 
and war, and skilful workmanship in all our utensils, 
our clothes, our shoes, nay, everything about us, and 
various things besides, because we should be employ- 
ing genuine craftsmen ? And if you liked, we might 
concede that prophecy, as the knowledge of what is 
to be, and temperance directing her, A^ill deter the 
charlatans, and establish the true prophets as our 
prognosticators. Thus equipped, the human race 
would indeed act and live according to knowledge, I 
grant you (for temperance, on the watch, would not 
suffer ignorance to foist herself in and take a hand in 
our labours), but that by acting according to know- 
ledge we should do well and be happy — this is a 

^ Cf. Homer, Od. xix. 562 foil. Dreams are there 
described as issuing from two gates : dreams that come true 
are from the gate of horn ; deceitful dreams are from the 
gate of ivorv. 



evSaLfMovoXfJiev , tovto he ovttco SvvdfMeda yLaOelv, 
J) (j)iXe Kptrta. 

'AAAo. iiivroL, 7] S' OS, ov paSicos evp-qcreis dXXo 
Tt reXos rov ev TTpdrreiv, edv to eTTKTrrjfMovcos 

HjjiLKpov Toivvv /xe, r]v 8' eycL, en Trpoahiha^ov. 
rivos eTTL<TT7]p.6v(X)S Xeyeis; rj (tkutcov TOfirjs; 
E Ma A" ovK eycxjye. 

'AAAd x'^^'<^^ ipyaaias; 


*AAAa €pi(x)v rj ^vXcov fj dXXov rov rcbv roiovrojv; 

Ov brjra. 

OvK dpa, rjv 8 eyc6, en efifAevofxcv Tip Xoycp tco 
evhaijxova elvai tov emaTripbovcus t,d)VTa. ovtol 
yap eTrtoTTj/xovco? ^covre? ov^ 6p,oXoyovvTai Trapd 
aov euSat/xoves" elvai, dXXd Trepi tlvcov eTnaTr]p,6vix)£ 
t^wvTo'' av^ So/cet? fxoi d<^opit,€adai tov evhaip^ova. 
KOI laojs Xdyeig ov vvv Sr) iyoj eXeyov, tov etSora 
174 TO, fjbeXXovTa ecreaOac TrdvTa, tov p,dvTtv. tovtov 
rj dXXov TLvd Xeyets; 

Kat TOVTOV eycoye, e^rj, koL dXXov. 

Tiva; rjv 8' iyo). dpa jjirj tov tolovSc, el' ri? 
TTpos Tols fieXXovai /cat ra yeyovoTa travTa elSclr] 
Kol TO, vvv ovTa, Kal p.rjhev dyvooZ; dcopuev ydp 
Tiva elvai axnov. ov ydp, ol/jLai, tovtov y* ert dv 
€L7TOLs ovSeva eTTLGTrnjioveaTepov ^covto etvat. 

Ov SrJTa. 

To8e St] ert 7Tpo<7TTodd>, tls avrov twv e7naTrjp,a)v 
TTOiet evSai/JLOva ; rj diraaai opiOLcos; 

1 ^Civra Schleiermacher : ^ihvruv iiss. 
^ <n> Bekker : e5 siss. 



point wliich as yet we are unable to make out, my 
dear Critias. 

But still, he replied, you ^vill have some difficulty 
in finding any other fulfilment of welfare if you reject 
the rule of knowledge. 

Then inform me further, I said, on one more little 
matter. Of what is this knowledge ? Do you mean 
of shoe-making ? 

Good heavens, not I ! 

Well, of working in brass ? 

By no means. 

Well, in wool, or in wood, or in something else of 
that sort ? 

No, indeed. 

Then we no longer hold, I said, to the statement that 
he who hves according to knowledge is happy ; for 
these workers, though they hve according to know- 
ledge, are not acknowledged by you to be happy : you 
rather dehmit the happy man, it seems to me, as one 
who hves according to knowledge about certain things. 
And I daresay you are referring to my instance of a 
moment ago, the man who knows all that is to come, 
the prophet. Do you refer to him or to someone else ? 

Yes, I refer to him, he said, and someone else too. 

Whom ? I asked. Is it the sort of person who 
might know, besides what is to be, both everj^tliing 
that has been and now is, and might be ignorant of 
nothing ? Let us suppose such a man exists : you 
are not going to tell me, I am sure, of anyone alive 
who is yet more kno^^^ng than he. 

No, indeed. 

Then there is still one more thing I would fain 
know : which of the sciences is it that makes him 
happy ? Or does he owe it to all of them ahke ? 

VOL. vm G 81 


B OvSafMcbs ofioLcos, e(f)rj. 

'AAAct TTola iMoXtara; fj ri olhc /cat rojv ovroiv /cat 
rcov yeyovorojv /cat roJv fxeXXovrcov eaeadai; dpd 
ye fi TO TTerrevTiKov ; 

Holov, rj 8' 6V, TTerrevrLKOv ; 

'AAA' fj TO XoytariKov ; 


'AAA' fj ro vyieivov ; 

yiaXXov, €(f>r]. 
CjKeLvq o rjv Aeyoj fxaAiara, rjv o eyoj, fj rt; 

*^Ht TO dyadov, €(f)rj, /cat ro /ca/cdr. 

^D. fiiape, €(f)7]v iyco, TrdXai fie rrepieXKeis kvkXco, 
dnoKpvTTToiJievos ort ov ro en tarrjixov cos rjv l,fjv 
TO €V TTpdrreiv re /cat evhaLfiovelv ttolovv, ovhe 
C crvp,7raacov rcov dXXcov emarrificbv, dXXd jxtds 
ovcnqs ravrrjs piovov rrjg Trepi ro ayadov re /cat 
KaKov. erret, c5 Kptrta, el deXeis e^eXeZv ravrrjv 
rrjv emar'^p.rjv e/c rcov dXXcov €7nar7]p,cov, rjrrov re 
ri fxev larpiKT] vyiaiveiv TTOLT^aei, -q Se aKvrtKT] 
VTToSeSeadaL, -q 8e v(f)avrLK7] 'qp.(f)t,ea6cu, rj Se 
KV^epvrjriKTj KcoXvaei ev rfj daXdrrjj dTTodvrjcTKeLv 
/cat rj crrparrjyLKr] ev TToXepcp; 

Ovhev rjrrov, e(f)rj. 

'AAA', (5 ^lAe K/JiTta, ro ev ye rovrcov e/cacrra 
D yiyveadai /cat (L(f>eXi.p,o)s dTToXeXonros rj/xas ecrrai 
ravrrjs dTTovarjs. 

^AXrjdrj Xeyeis. 

Ovx avrr) Se ye, cus" eoiKev, eariv r) aco(f)poovv7] , 
dAA' T^S" epyov earl ro ch^eXeZv -qp^dg. ov yap 
€7narr}p,cov ye /cat dveTTiarripocrvviJbv rj eTTicmjpr] 
eariv, dXXd dyadov re /cat KaKov- cZcrre el avrr] 



Bv no means to all alike, he replied. 

But to which sort most ? One that gives him 
knowledge of what thing, present, past or future ? 
Is it that by which he knows draught-playing ? 

Draught-playing indeed I he replied. 

Well, reckoning ? 

By no means. 

Well, health ? 

More likely, he said. 

And that science to which I refer as the most 
likely, I went on, gives him knowledge of what ? 

Of good, he replied, and of evil. 

Vile creature ! I said, you have all this time been 
dragging me round and round, while conceahng the 
fact that the hfe according to knowledge does not 
make us do well and be happy, not even if it be know- 
ledge of all the other knowledges together, but only 
if it is of this single one concerning good and evil. 
For, Critias, if you choose to take away this science 
from the whole number of them, will medicine any 
the less give us health, or shoemaking give us shoes, 
or wea\ing provide clothes, or ^^^ll the pilot's art any 
the less prevent the loss of hfe at sea, or the general's 
in war ? 

None the less, he rephed. 

But, my dear Critias, to have any of these things 
well and beneficially done will be out of our reach if 
that science is lacking. 

That is true. 

And that science, it seems, is not temperance, but 
one whose business is to benefit us ; for it is not a 
science of sciences and lack of sciences, but of good 



eoTiv a)0eAt/xos", r) acx)<j>poavv7] dXXo tl av eir] 
\r] (h(f)eXi^riY rjfilv. 

Tt 8', 77 S' OS", ovK dv avrrj (h^eXoZ; el yap on 

{xaXiara twv eTncrTTjficjv €TncnrjyLr] ecrrlv rj ao}(j)po- 

E crvvT), iTTiararel 8e Kal ralg aAAat? eTTLcm^fjiaig, /cat 

Tavrrjg S-^ttov dv dp^ovaa Trjs Trepl rdyadov 

€7naT'qiJL7)s (h<j>eXoZ dv rjfMas. 

*H /cat uytatVetv vrotot, rjv 8' iyco, avrrj, dXX' ovx 
■fj larpiK-q; Kal rdXXa rd rcbv reyychv avrt] dv 
TTOLoZ, /cat ov)(^ at aAAat to avrrjg epyov eKaarr] ; 
^ ov rrdXai Stefiaprvpofieda, on eirLarrnjLrjs jjlovov 
earl /cat dveTTtarrjiJiocnjvrjs eTnarrjp,7], dXXov he 
ovhevog- ovx ovrcos; 

Waiver at ye. 

OvK dpa vyietag earai hrjixLovpyos . 

Ov Sijra. 
175 "AAAt^s" ydp -qv rexvrjs vyieia- rj ov; 


Oj)8' apa (h^eXeiaSy c5 eralpe' dXXrj ydp av 
aTTehofxev rovro ro epyov Texvrj vvv S-^' rj ydp; 

Yldvv ye. 

Yld)s ovv oi^e'At/x.os' ear ai rj ao}(f>poavvrj, ovSefxids 
(h(f)eXias ovaa hrjjiiovpyos ; 

Ovhajxibs, c5 TidiKpares, eoiKe ye. 

*Opas ovv, cb K/3tTta, coj eycj iraXai eiKorcos 
eheSoLKrj Kal 8t/cata>? e/xavrov rjri.dijirjv on ovhev 
Xprjarov irepl aco(f)poavvrjs aKoird) ; ov ydp dv ttov 
6 ye KoXXiarov Trdvrcov ojxoXoyeZrai etvai, rovro 
B 'qP'tv dvco(f)€Xes e(f)dvrj, e'l n ep,ov o(f}eXos rjV Ttpos 
ro KaXdJs t,rjreZv. vvv 8e — nravraxfj ydp rjrrcLfieda, 
Kal ov hvvdfxeda evpeZv icf) orco irore rwv ovroiv 6 

1 y\ ib(pe\lni] sec'l. Madvig. 



and evil : so that if this is beneficial, temperance 
must be something else to us. 

But why, he asked, should not it be beneficial ? 
For if temperance is above all a science of the sciences, 
and presides too over the other sciences, surely she 
will govern this science of the good, and so benefit us. 

And give us health also ? I asked : will she, and 
not medicine, do this ? And will the several works 
of the other arts be hers, and not the particular 
works of each art ? Have we not constantly protested 
that she is only knowledge of knowledge and of lack 
of knowledge, and of nothing else ? Is not that so } 

Apparently it is. 

Then she will not be a producer of health ? 

No, indeed. 

For health, we said, belongs to another art, did we 

We did. 

Nor of benefit, my good friend ; for this work, 
again, we assigned to another art just now, did we 
not ? 


Then how will temperance be beneficial, if it 
produces no benefit ? 

By no means, Socrates, as it seems. 

So do you see, Critias, liow all the time I had good 
reason for my fear, and fair ground for the reproach 
I made against myself, that my inquiry regarding 
temperance w^as worthless } ^ For I cannot think that 
what is admitted to be the noblest thing in the world 
would have appeared to us useless if I had been of 
any use for making a good search. But now, you see, 
we are worsted every way, and cannot discover what 

» C/. 172 c. 



vofioOerr^s tovto rovvojxa edero, rrjv ao}(f)poavv'r]v . 
KaiTOL TToAAa ye (TuyK'e;;^a)/37^/<-a//.€v ov av^^aivovd^ 
rjjJiLV iv rep Xoyco. /cat yap e'mariqp,r]v eTnarrjpiri? 
elvai avv€XOjp'qaap€V , ovk icovros rod Xoyov ovSe 
<f)daKovros elvai' Kal ravrrj av rfj eTTiaTT^fir] /cat ra 

C Twv aXXcov iinarriiJLCov epya yiyvoiaKeLv avvexojprj- 
aap,€v, ovSe tovt^ icjvros rod Xoyov, Iva S-q rjpA,v 
yevoiro 6 (ja)(f>pa)v €7narrjpt,cx}v cbv re olhev, on otSe, 
/cat wv p.rj oXhev, on ovk olSe. rovro /xev Sr] Kal 
TTavrdvaaL fieyaXoTTpcTTcos avv€XOJp'i]aap,€V , ou8' 
iTTiaKeiffapLevoi, ro dSvvarov etvac, d ng [mt] olSe 
p,7]Bap,(x)s, ravra etSeVat d/xaJs ye ttcos' on yap ovk 
otSe, (f)r)criv avra elSevat rj rjpierepa o/xoAoyta. 
KairoL, d)S eyaiyuai, ovhevos orov ov)(l aXoycorepov 
rovr dv ^aveirj. dXX opLUig ovrcj's tjjjlcjv evrjdiKwv 

J) rvxovaa r] ^'qrrjaLS Kal ov GKX-qpcov, ovbev n 
p,dXXov evpelv hvvarat rrjV dX-qdeiav, dXXd roaovrov 
KoreyeXaaev avrijs, ajcrre o i^/xets" TraAat avvofxoXo- 
yovvres Kal avp,7TXdrrovr€S €.ndep,€da (j(jD(f)poavvrjv 
elvai, rovro rj/jutv rravv v^picrnKcbs avoj^eXks ov 
d7T€(f)at,V€ . ro p,kv ovv ip,6v Kal rjrrov ayavaKrdJ' 
VTTep Se aov, rjv 8' eyo), cb \app,l8r], ttovv dya- 
vaKrdJ, el av rotovros d)v rrjv iSeW /cat Trpos 

E rovrip rrjV ifjvx'fjv crcocfipoveararos , fxrjSev ov^crrj 

(XTTO ravrrjs rrjs (JO}(j)poavviqs jxrjSe n a (h(f)eXrjaei 

ev ro) ^Lcp rrapovaa. en 8e /jidXXov dyavaKrco 

V7T€p rrjs eTTCpSijs, rjv Trapd rod QpaKos efiadov, el 

fiTjSevos d^iov Trpdyp^aros ovaav avrrfv p^erd 

TToXXrjs CTTTOvhrjs ep,dvdavov . ravr ovv Trdvv piev 

[ovvY OVK OLOpbai ovrcos ex^eiv, dAA' e/xe cf)avXov 

1 o5v seel, Winckelmann. 
— _— — — 



thing it can possibly be to which the lawgiver gave 
this name, temperance. And yet we have conceded 
many points which were not deducible from oiur 
argument. For you know we conceded that there 
was a science of science, when the argument was 
against it and would not agree ; and we further con- 
ceded that this science could know the works also of 
the other sciences, when the argument was against 
this too, in order to make out that the temperate 
man had a knowledge of what he knew and did not 
know, so as to know that he knew the one and did 
not know the other. And we made this concession 
in a really magnificent manner, without considering 
the impossibility of a man knowing, in some sort of 
way, things that he does not know at all ; for our 
admission says that he knows that he does not know 
them ; and yet, in my opinion, there can be nothing 
more irrational than this. Nevertheless, although it 
has found us so simple-minded and tractable, the 
inquiry remains quite incapable of discovering the 
truth, but has utterly flouted it by most impudently 
showing us the inutihty of that which we had been 
ever so long assuming, by our joint admissions and 
fictions, to be the meaning of temperance. Now, so 
far as I am concerned, I am not particularly dis- 
tressed : but for your sake, I said, Charmides, I am 
seriously distressed to think that you, with your 
goodly form and most temperate soul besides, are 
to have no profit or advantage from the presence of 
that temperance in all your life. And I am still more 
distressed about the charm which I learnt from the 
Thracian,^ that I should have spent so much pains on 
a lesson which has had such a worthless effect. Now 
I really do not think that this can be the case, but 



etvai, ^r)r7]T'qv €7T€l rrjv ye aco(f)poavvr)v fieya tl 
ayadov elvat, Kal e'lTTep ye ex^ts avro, fiaKapiov 
176 etval ae. dAA' opa el e;\;ets" re /cat jjLrjBev Ser) rrjs 
eTTCphrjs' el yap ^xets, /itaAAov dv eyioye aot, ovfji^ov- 
Xevaat,fj,t ep,e p,ev Xrjpov rjyetadat elvai /cat dSvvarov 
Xoycp oTiovv [,'qTelv, aeavrov 8e, oacpvep aa)(f}pove- 
arepos el, roaovroj elvai /cat evhaip,oveaTepov . 

Kat d X^ap/xiS-qs , 'AAAa p,d At", ■^ 8' os, eycoye, 
CO H(x)KpaT€s, ovK otSa ovr^ el e^oi ovr' el p.y] exo). 
7TCOS yd.p dv elbeirjv 6 ye /at^S' vpuels oloi re eare 
B e^evpelv 6 ri rror" eariv, d)£ (f>fjg av ; eycb /xeVroi 
oi) TTOVV aoL TTeLdofiai, /cat ep^avrov, cS HcoKpares, 
Trdvv ot/xat heZadai rrjs iTTipBrjs, /cat ro y' e/xdv 
ovSev KOiXvei eiraheadaL vtto aov ocrat rjp,€pai, ecos 
dv (f>'^9 av iKavaJs exetv. 

^lev dAA', ecjitj 6 Kptrta?, cu Xa/s/xtSi^, <7]v >^ 
Bpas rovro e/xoty' earai rovro reKp,ripLov on, 
cro)<f)poveXs, 'r]V e-naheiv irapexiis YicoKpdret /cat p.r] 
aTToXeLTTr] rovrov fi-^re /xeya p.-qre ap^iKpov. 

'Q.S aKoXovd-qaovros , ^<f>V> '^^^ H'V o.7ToXei^op.evov 
Setvd ydp dv ttololtjv, et p,r] 7Teidoi.p,T]v aol rip 
emrpoTTO) /cat p.T] TTotoirjv d /ceAeuets". 

'AAAct /-fJ^v, e<f)7], KeXevco eycoye. 

HoLijaco roivvv, €(f)7], aTTO ravrrjal rrjs r)p,€pas 
dp^dp,evos . 

Ovroi, rjv 8' eyco, ri ^ovXeveadov Trotetv; 

OvSev, e(f>r] 6 ^apfMiSrjg, dXXd ^e^ovXevp,eda . 

BidcTTj dpa, rjv 8 eyco, /cat ovh avaKpiatv /xoi 

^ fjv add. Goldbacher. 


rather that I am a poor hand at inquiring ; for 
temperance I hold to be a great good, and you to be 
highly blessed, if you actually have it. See now 
whether you have it, and are in no need of the charm ; 
for if it is yours, I should rather advise you to regard 
me as a babbler who is unable to argue out any 
subject of inquiry whatsoever, and yourself as 
advancing in happiness as you advance in temper- 

Then Charmides said : Why, upon my word, 
Socrates, I do not know at all whether I have it or 
have it not. For how can I know, when even you 
two are unable to discover what this thing is ? — so 
you say, but of this you do not at all convince me — and 
I quite believe, Socrates, that I do need the charm, 
and for my part I have no objection to being charmed 
by you every day of my hfe, until you say I have had 
enough of the treatment. 

Very well, said Critias : now, Charmides, if you do 
this, it will be a proof to me of your temperance — if 
you submit to be charmed by Socrates and do not 
forsake him through tliick and thin. 

Count on me to follow, he said, and not forsake 
him ; for it would ill become me to disobey you, my 
guardian, and refuse to do your bidding. 

Well now, he said, I bid you. 

Then I will do as you say, he replied, and will start 
this very day. 

There, there, I said, what are you two plotting 
to do ? 

Notlxing, rephed Charmides ; we have made our 

So you will use force, I said, before even allowing 
me to make my affidavit ? 



'Q.S ^taaofjievov , €(f)7], eTretSr^Trep oSe ye eTrtrarreL' 
TTpos ravra av av ^ovXevov 6 ri TTOLrjaecs- 
D 'AAA' ouSe/xta, e(f)r]v iyo), AetTrerai ^ovX-q' aoi 
yap iTTLX^ipovvn TrpdrreLv oriovv /cat ^iat,op.ev(x) 
ovheis olos t' carat, ivavrLovadai avd pcoTTOiV . 

M17 roivvv, 7] 8' OS, p^rjhe av evavriov. 

Ov TOivvv, rjv 8' eyo), ivavridxroixai,. 



You must expect me to use force, he replied, since 
he gives me the command : take counsel, therefore, 
on your side, as to what you will do 

But that leaves no room, I said, for counsel ; for 
if once you set about doing anything and use force, 
no man alive Avill be able to withstand you. 

Then do not you, he said, withstand me. 

Then I will not withstand you, I replied. 




The First Alcibiades gives us a clear and useful, if 
rather inelegant, illustration of the ordinary teaching 
of Socrates. He accosts his young friend at a critical 
moment of opening manhood, and makes him admit, 
by >dlling replies to a series of carefully designed 
questions, that he is ignorant of the most important 
things which ought to be kno>\'n by one about to 
enter upon a public career. In the first part (103- 
114) we are shown that Alcibiades is going to advise 
the state on questions of peace and war, and must 
therefore know what is just and what unjust : but 
he could only have acquired this knowledge from the 
multitude, whose perpetual quarrels seem to show 
that they lack it ; and if he says that it is rather on 
the expedient and inexpedient that he proposes to 
advise them, we want to know in turn what these are. 
In the second part (115-127) we find that the just is 
the honourable, good and expedient ; and Alcibiades 
is further humiliated by a sly use of the double 
meaning of " doing well " — acting aright, and 
prospering. Other Athenian statesmen, including 
even Pericles (who is supposed to be still alive), are 
just as ignorant as Alcibiades, and he may be at no 
disadvantage in competition A^ith them : but his real 
competitors in the race for power and glory are 
persons like the kings of Sparta and Persia, whose 



training, wealth, and authority are described at some 
length and in lively detail. For such a contest it is 
necessary that Alcibiades should avail himself of all 
tlie help that Socrates can give him. They must join 
equally in the inquiry — What is the goodness re- 
quired in a statesman ? It seems to have something 
to do with friendship and harmony among the people ; 
and yet justice surely consists in everyone doing his 
own work, and this does not make for harmony. 
Alcibiades is sorely puzzled, but fortunately he is not 
too old to learn. The third and last section (128-135) 
deals with the Delphic maxim Know thyself, and what 
it may be supposed to mean. To know oneself is to 
know one's mind, and is true prudence or " temper- 
ance," which, with justice, is a necessary condition 
of happiness. 

The imaginary time of the conversation is about 
432 B.C., when Alcibiades was eighteen years old. 
He is now losing the extraordinary physical beauty 
of his boyhood, and is turning his mind to the political 
power whose attainment is the obvious aim of an 
able and ambitious man. It is at this moment that 
Socrates, an admirer who has held aloof from him 
till now, exposes by skilful questioning his false 
conceit of knowledge and his desperate need of know- 
ing, in the first place, his own mind. The method of 
interrogation, and the language usedby both speakers, 
are quite of a piece with those in other early dialogues 
of Plato. The somewhat lengthy speech of Socrates 
about the royal families of Persia and Sparta (121- 
124), though it has some pleasant touches of Socratic 
humour, is perhaps a little out of character in a scene 
where so much emphasis is laid on the point that all 
the positive statements come from Alcibiades and 



none from Socrates ; and the identification of soul 
■with man (130 c) is a crude and unsatisfactory sug- 
gestion compared with the later theories of the 
Gorgias (464 a) and other dialogues. But on the 
whole there seems to be no sufficient reason for 
doubting, with some eminent scholars, the authen- 
ticity of this dialogue, if it be remembered that the 
work is probably one of Plato's earhest sketches, 
composed in the years immediately following the 
death of Socrates (399 b.c.) ; that from the third 
century a.d. it has been regarded and studied as an 
exemplary piece of Academic teaching ; and that 
it is natural to suppose that the series of Plato's 
compositions would begin with some immature and 
relatively inartistic essays in dialogue-writing. When 
he came to conceive the Symposium, Plato was able 
to draw far fuller and finer portraits of both Socrates 
and Alcibiades, and to vivify their friendly converse 
by many a masterly stroke of dramatic art. 

VOL. vni H 97 


[h nEPi AN0pnnoT *T2En2' maiettikos] 


p\ll 2n. ^D, TTOL KXetVLOV, ot/xat ere davfxdl^eLV, on. Trpco- 
Tos ipaaTiqs oov ycvofxevos roJv dXXojv TTCTravfievcov 
fiovos ovK aTTaXXarrofjiaL, /cat otl ol fiev aAAot 8i 
ox^ov iyevovTo aoi, StaAeyd/xevot, eycb 8e rocrovrcov 
ircov ovSe TrpoaeiTTOv. rovrov 8e ro a'iriov yiyovev 
OVK dvdpd>TreLov, aAAa rt BaLfioviov ivavTLOjfjba, ov 
av rrjv SvvafXLV /cat varepov Trevar)' vvv 8' eTTethr) 
B ovK€TL evavriovrai, ovro) TrpoaeXrjXvQa' eveXnis 8e 
elfJLL /cat TO XoLTTov fiT] evavricliaeadai avro. ox^^ov 
ovv KaravevoTjKa iv rovro) rep xP'^v^ cjKOTTovpbevos 
(V£ TTpos Tovs epacrrds €a)(€g' ttoXXcov yap yevo- 
jxevcov /cat p,eyaXo(f)p6va)v ovBeis os ovx VTrep^Xr]- 
Oels TO) (^povqjJiarL vtto aov TTe(f)€vy€v, rov 8e Xoyov, 

104 o) vTTepTTecjipovrjKas, ideXco SieXdelv. ovSevos <f>'{)s 
dv9pa}7Tcov ivSerjs etvat etV ovhiv rd ydp VTrdp- 
Xovrd aoi jxeydXa elvai, ware p,r]S€v6s Seladai, dno 
Tov acofiaros dp^dfieva reXevrcovra els rrjv i/jvxrjv. 

^ Socrates refers to the " spiritual sign " which occasionally 
warned him against an intended action : cf. Apol. 31 c d, 
40 a b. 



[or on the nature of man : " obstetric "] 


Socrates, Alcibiades 

soc. Son of Cleinias, I think it must surprise you 
that I, the first of all your lovers, am the only one of 
them who has not given up his suit and thro^^•n you 
over, and vt-hereas they have all pestered you with 
their conversation I have not spoken one word to you 
for so many years. The cause of this has been 
nothing human, but a certain spiritual opposition,^ of 
whose power you shall be informed at some later 
time. However, it now opposes me no longer, so I 
have accordingly come to you ; and I am in good 
hopes that it will not oppose me again in the future. 
Now I have been observing you all this time, and have 
formed a pretty good notion of your behaviour to 
your lovers : for although they were many and high- 
spirited, everyone of them has found your spirit too 
strong for him and has run away. Let me explain 
the reason of your spirit being too much for them. 
You say you have no need of any man in any matter ; 
for your resources are so great, beginning with the 
body and ending with the soul, that you lack nothing. 



otet yap Sr) elvat Trpcorov fjuev KaXXtaros re /cat 
ixeytaros' /cat rovro fiev St) Travrl SfjXov iSelv on 
ov ifjevSrj' eireira veaviKcordrov yevovg ev rfj 
aeavrov iroXei, ovarj fMcytarrj tGuv 'EAAr^vtScoi^, /cat 

B ivravda Trpos irarpos ri aoi ^iXovg /cat avyyevets 
TrXeiarovs elvat, /cat apiarovs, ol et rt Seot inrr^pe- 
rotev av aoi, rovrcov 8e tows' rrpos jjirjTpos ovSev 
X^ipovs oi38' iXoLTTovs' (JVfXTrdvrwv 8e Sv €L7tov 
fieit^w otet o'ot Svvajjuv virapx^tv Ilc/at/cAea rov 
'RavdiiTTTov, ov 6 TTaTTjp eTTLTpoTTOv /caxeAtTTe O'ot re 
/cat TO) aSeA<^a»* os ov fiovov iv TTySe rfj TroAet 
Swarat Trpdrreiv 6 rt av ^ovXrjrai, dAA' ei' Trdarj 
rfj 'EAAaSt /cat tcDv ^ap^dpcov Iv ttoXXols /cat 

C p-eyaXoLS yeveatv. Trpoadijao) 8e /cat ort rcbv 
■nXovaicxiV So/cei? Se /xot errt tovtoj rjKicrTa jieya 
<j>poveiv. Kara trdvra Srj ravra av re p.eyaX- 
avxovfxevos KeKpdrrjKas ra)v epaarcjv ii<etvoL re 
vrroheearepoi ovres eKparrjdrjaav, /cat ae ravr ov 
XeXrjdev odev hrj eii oiSa ort 6avp,d^eLS, ri hiavoov- 
p,ev6s TTore ovk aTraXXdrropbai rov epoyros, /cat 
TJvriv* exo}v eATrtSa VTTop,evoi rcbv dXXcov 7Te(f)evy6ra>v . 
AAK. Kat lacos ye, cS HcoKpares, ovk otad' on 

D ap,iKp6v p,e ecfjd-qs. eyco ydp rot iv vat el^ov rrpo- 
repos croL TrpocreXdcov avrd raur' epeadai, ri rrore 
jSouAei /cat els rlva eAvn'Sa ^Xcttcov evoxXeis p-e, 
aet OTTOV av d> e7np,eX^arara rrapoiv rw ovn ydp 
davpid^a), 6 ri rror^ earl ro aov irpdypLa, Kat 
rjStar^ dv Trvdoiprjv. 

2n. AKovarj ptev dpa ptov, d)s ro et/cds", irpo- 
dvptws, e'lTrep, cos <f>2]S, eTTtdvpiels elSevat ri Sta- 



You think, in the first place, that you are foremost 
in beauty and stature — and you are not mistaken in 
this, as is plain for all to see — and in the second place, 
that you are of the most gallant family in your city, 
the greatest city in Greece, and that there you have, 
through your father, very many of the best people 
as your friends and kinsmen, Avho would assist you 
in case of need, and other connexions also, through 
your mother, who are not a wliit inferior to these, 
nor fewer. And you reckon upon a stronger power 
than all those that I have mentioned, in Pericles, 
son of Xanthippus, whom your father left as guardian 
of you and your brother when he died, and who is 
able to do whatever he hkes not only in this city but 
all over Greece and among many great nations of the 
barbarians. And I wll add besides the wealth of 
your house : but on this, I observe, you presume 
least of all. Well, you puff yourself up on all these 
advantages, and have overcome your lovers, while 
they in their inferiority have pelded to your might, 
and all this has not escaped you ; so I am very sure 
that you wonder what on earth I mean by not getting 
rid of my passion, and what can be my hope in 
remaining when the rest have fled. 

ALC. Perhaps also, Socrates, you are not aware that 
you have only just anticipated me. For I, in fact, 
had the intention of coming and asking you first that 
very same question — what is your aim and expecta- 
tion in bothering me by making a particular point of 
always turning up wherever I may be. For I really 
do wonder what can be your object, and should be 
very glad if you would tell me. 

soc. Then you ^v^ll listen to me, presumably, ^nth 
keen attention if, as you say, you long to know what 



voovjxai, Kat ws dKovaofMevo) /cat 7T€pi[M€VovvTi 

AAK. Yidvv [xev ovv dXXd Xeye. 
E 2n. "Opa Srj- ov yap rot, et-r] dv Oavfxacrrov et, 
(xiGTTep /Jboyig rjp^dfirjv, ovrco Kat p.6yis TrauCTat/xr^v . 

AAK. 'D. *yade Xeye' dKovdOjjbat ydp. 

2n. AeKreov dv etr]. ■)(aXeTTdv [xev ovv Trpos 
avhpa ovx rjrrova ipaarcov rrpoacfjepeaOai, ipacrrfj, 
ofjicos 8e ToXfji-qreov (f)pdaai rrjv i[j.r]v Stavotav. 
iyd) ydp, d> 'AA/ct^tctSi^, et fiev ae iwpcov d vvv Sr] 
SirjXdov dyaTTwvrd re /cat olofxevov Selv iv rovroig 
Kara^Lcx)vai, TrdXai dv d7Tr]XXdyfJ,rjv rov epcoros, 
105 ^S" ye S17 ifxavrov TreiOci)' vvv he erepa av Karrjyo- 
p-qaco Siavo-qfiara ad rrpds avrov ae, a> /cat yvKoar], 
on TTpoae)(iov ye aoi rdv vovv StarereAe/ca. So/eels' 
yap fjLoi, et ris aoi et77ot dectjv co 'AXKL^idSr), 
rrorepov ^ovXei t,rjv e^cov d vvv ^xeis, 7] aurt/ca 
redvdvai, el p,'q aoi e^earai //.et^oj Kr'qaaadai; 
So/cet? dv fxoL eXeadai redvdvat,' aAAa vvv eTrl rivL 
S'q TTore eATrtSt ^7^?, eyd) (f)pdao). irjyfj, eav ddrrov 
els rov *AdrjvaLcov Srjfiov TrapeXdr^s — rovro 8e 
B eaeadai p,dXa dXiyojv -q/juepcov — 7TapeX6d)v ovv ev- 
hei^eaSai ^ AdrjvaioLs , ort d^tos et rt/Jbdadai d)s ovre 
rTept/cATys" oyV d'AAos' ouSet? rd)v TTijorrore yevo- 
fjbev(x)v, /cat rovro evBei^dfxevos p^eyiarov hvvrj- 
aeadai iv rij TToXei, edv 8' evddSe fjueyiarog fjs, /cat 
ev roLS dXXoLS "EAAiycrt, /cat ov [j,6vov iv "EiXXrjaiv 
dXXd /cat iv rots ^ap^dpois, daoi iv rfj avrfj ripXv 
oIkovolv TjTTelpcv. Kat el av aoi etTrot o avros 
ovros 6e6s on avrov ae Set Svvaarevecv iv rij 



I mean, and I have in you a listener who ^vill stay to 
hear me out. 

ALc, Why, to be sure : only speak. 

soc. Look to it, then ; for it would be no wonder 
if I should make as much difficulty about stopping as 
I have made about starting. 

ALc. My good sir, speak ; for I will listen. 

soc. Speak I must, I suppose. Now, although it 
is hard for a lover to parley vrith a man who does not 
yield to lovers, I must make bold nevertheless to put 
my meaning into words. For if I saw you, Alcibiades, 
content with the things I set forth just now, and 
minded to pass your life in enjoying them, I should 
long ago have put away my love, so at least I persuade 
myself : but as it is, I shall propound to your face 
quite another set of your thoughts, whereby you will 
understand that I have had you continually before 
my mind. For I beheve, if some god should ask you : 
" Alcibiades, do you prefer to hve ^\ith your present 
possessions, or to die immediately if you are not to 
have the chance of acquiring greater things .^ " I 
beheve you would choose to die. But let me tell you 
what I imagine must be the present hope of your 
life. You think that if you come shortly before the 
Athenian Assembly — which you expect to occur in 
a very few days — you will stand forth and prove to 
the people that you are more worthy of honour than 
either Pericles or anyone else who has ever existed, 
and that ha\'ing proved this you will have the greatest 
power in the state ; and that if you are the greatest 
here, you will be the same among all the other 
Greeks, and not only Greeks, but ail the barbarians 
who inhabit the same continent with us. And if that 
same god should say to you again, that you are to 



C EvpcuTTTy, Sia^rjvai Se et? rrjv ^Aatav ovk e^earai 
aoL ovo eTTtdeadai tols eKel TTpdy^aaiv, ovk av av 
[Jboi SoKCiS ideXeiv ou8' irrl tovtols ixovols Cw> ^^ 
[xr] €fj,7TAr](T€i,s Tov aov ovo[j,aTO£ Kai rrjs arjg 
Swdfjiecos TTOLvras, (I)s €7Tos elrreiv, dvdpcoTTovg' /cat 
oi/xat ere ttXtjv Kypou /cat Sep^ov -qyelaOaL ovSeva 
agiov Aoyov yeyovevac. oti [xev ovv ep^et? ravriqu 
rrjv eAmSa, €v oiSa /cat ovk et/ca^a>. icrcus dv ovv 
eiTTOLS, are etScb? ort dXrjOrj Xeyco- ri hrj ovv, c5 

D TicoKpares, rovro iari. crot 77p6s" Xoyov [ov e(f)7]a9a 
epelv, 8t o ifiov ovk dTraXXdrrrj] ^; eycu Se crot ye 
epcD, a» ^t'Ae Trat KAetvtou /cat i^€LVop,d)(rjs. rovrcjv 
yap aoL aTravrcDV raJv StavorjpbdrcjDV reXos CTrtre- 
drjvai dvev ipiov dSvvarov roaavrrjv iyoj Bvvapbtv 
ot/xat e;^etv' et? rd ad TTpdyfiara /cat et? ere' 8to Sr) 
/cat TraAat oto/xat /te rov dedv ovk idv hiaXiyeadai 
aoL, ov iyd) Trepiefievov oTn^vt/ca idcrei. axxTrep yap 

E <yv eATTtSa? e;!^ets' iv rfj TroAet ivSel^aaOat on avrfj 
TTOVTOS d^Los €1, ivSeL^dfjicvos Se ovSev on ov 
TvapavnKa Svv^aeadai, ovra> Kdyd) irapd aoX iX- 
TTt^co {JbeytcrTov hwiqaeadai ivSeL^dfievog on Travros 
d^Los elp.i CTot, /cat ovr^ eTrirpoTTos ovre avyyevrjs 
ovre aXXos oySetj iKavos TrapaSovvaL rrjv Svvafjuv 
rjs eTTidvixeis ttXtjv i/xov, p.erd rov Oeov fxevroL. 
vewrepo) p.kv ovv ovn crot /cat irplv roaavrrjg 
eXTrihos yefieiv, d>s ifiol 8o/cet, ovk eta o deog 
StaXeyeadat, iva fj,rj fidTrjv SLaXeyoLfirjV vvv 8e 

106 ^i*!*^^' ^^^ y^P ^^ y''^'^ a/coucrats". 

AAK. rioAu ye p,oi, a> YiCOKpares , vvv droTrdyre- 
pos av (f)alvrj, cTretSi^ ^P^oj Xeyeiv, rj oris atyojv 

^ 6v . . . dwaWdTrrj secl. Burnet. 


hold sway here in Europe, but are not to be allowed 
to cross over into Asia and to interfere with the 
affairs of that region, I beheve you would be equally 
loth to live on those sole conditions either — if you 
are not to fill, one may say, the whole world with 
your name and your power ; and I fancy that, except 
Cyrus and Xerxes, you think there has never existed a 
single man who was of any account. So then that this 
is your hope, I know well enough ; I am not merely 
guessing. And I daresay you will reply, since you 
know that what I say is true : " Well, Socrates, and 
what has that to do with your point ? " I am going 
to tell you, dear son of Cleinias and Deinomache. 
Without me it is impossible for all those designs of 
yours to be cro wTied with achievement ; so great is 
the power I conceive myself to have over your affairs 
and over you, and it is for this very reason, I believe, 
that the god has so long prevented me from talking 
with you, and I was waiting to see when he would 
allow me. For as you have hopes of proving yourself 
in public to be invaluable to the state and, having 
proved it, of vvinning forthwith unhmited power, so 
do I hope to win supreme power over you by proving 
that I am invaluable to you, and that neither guardian 
nor kinsman nor anyone else is competent to transmit 
to you the power that you long for except me, with 
the god's help, however. In your younger days, to 
be sure, before you had built such high hopes, the 
god, as I beheve, prevented me from talking with 
you, in order that I might not waste my words : but 
now he has set me on ; for now you will listen to me. 
ALc. You seem to me far more extraordinary, 
Socrates, now that you have begun to speak, than 
before, when you followed me about in silence ; 



eiTTOv Kairoi a(f)6hpa ye -^ad* Ibelv Kal Tore, roiovros. 
€L iiev ovv eyoj ravra Siavoovfiai, t] fi-q, ojs eoLKC, 
' BUyvcoKas, Kal iav fxrj (f)a), ovBev fjbot, earai ttXIov 
7Tpo£ TO TreideiV ere. elev el 8e Srj on /jidXtcrra 
ravra SiavevorjfxaL, ttcos Sta aov fjboi earai Koi 
avev aov ovk av yevoiro ; e)(eLS Xeyeiv ; 
B 2n. ^Apa epcoras e'i nva exoj elTrelv Xoyov 
fjbaKpov, oiovs Br] d/couetv eWiaai; ov yap ecrrt 
TOLOVTOV TO ejxov aAA' evBei^aadai p.ev aoL, ojs 
eycpp^ai, olos t av eirjv oti Tavra ourcus" e;^ei, eav 
ev {jiovov fioL ideXTJarjg ^pa^v VTrr^perrjaai. 

AAK. 'AAA' e'l ye Br] p.r] p^aAcTTOv tl Xeyeis to 
VTTr]peTr]p,a, edeXw. 

2n. 'H^ ;(;aA€7roj/ BoKel to diroKpivaadai to, 
epojTiofxeva ; 

AAK. Ov ;^aA€7rdv. 

2n. ^ AiTOKpivov Br], 

AAK. 'E/Dcora. 

2n. OvKovv ws Biavoovfievov aov Tavra epcoro), 
Q a (f)r]iJ,L ae BiavoeiaOai ; 

AAK. "EcTTCo, el ^ovXei, ovtcos, Iva Kal etScD o ri 

2n. Oepe Bt^' Biavofj yap, cos eyoj <^r]]ii, TTapievai 
avfM^ovXevawv ^AdrjvaloLs evros ov ttoXXov xpovov 
el ovv fJieXXovros aov levai errl to ^rjfjba Xa^ofievos 
epoip.r]V' CO ' AA/ci^taSr^ , eTreiBr] rrepl rivos 'A6r]- 
valoL Biavoovvrai ^ovXeveadai, dviaraaai avfx^ov- 
Xevawv; dp' eireiBr] irepl Sv av eTriaraaai ^eXriov 
r] ovToi; TL dv diroKpivaLO ; 
D AAK. EtTToi/i,' dv Br]TTOV, TTepl (Lv olBa ^eXrcov rj 


1 ^ Buttmann : ei mss. 



though even then you looked strange enough. Well, 
as to my intending all this or not, you have apparently 
made your decision, and any denial of mine will not 
avail me to persuade you. Very good : but suppos- 
ing I have intended ever so much what you say, how 
are you the sole means through which I can hope to 
attain it ? Can you tell me ? 

soc. Are you asking whether I can make a long 
speech, such as you are used to hearing ? No, my 
gift is not of that sort. But I fancy I could prove to 
you that the case is so, if you A\ill consent to do me 
just one little service. 

ALC. Why, if you mean a ser\ice that is not trouble- 
some, I consent. 

soc. Do you consider it troublesonie to answer 
questions put to you ? 

ALC. No, I do not. 

soc. Then answer. 

ALC. Ask. 

soc. Well, you have the intentions which I say you 
have, I suppose ? 

ALC. Be it so, if you hke, in order that I may know 
what you will say next. 

soc. Now then : you intend, as I say, to come 
forward as adviser to the Athenians in no great space 
of time ; well, suppose I were to take hold of you as 
you were about to ascend the platform, and were 
to ask you : " Alcibiades, on Avhat subject do the 
Athenians propose to take advice, that you should 
stand up to ad%-ise them ? Is it something about 
which you have better knowledge than they ? " 
What would be your reply ? 

ALC. I should say, I suppose, it was something 
about which I knew better than they. 



Sn. Hept wv ap' eiSco? rvyxoiveiSi dyaOos 
av/jb^ovXos et. 

AAK. Ila;? yap ov; 

5n. OvKovv ravra jjuovov olada, a Trap* aAAcui' 
efjuaOeg rj avros i^rjvpes; 

AAK. rioia yap d'AAa; 

5X1. "Ecrriv ow ottcds av TTore efjiadeg tl t] 
i^rjvpes p>T]T€ fjbavddveiv ideXojv iirjre avros ^rjretv; 

AAK. OvK ear IV. 

5n. Tt hi; rjOeXrjaas av l.rjTrJGai t] p^adelv d 
eTTLaraodai coov ; 

AAK. Ov hryra. 
E 2fl. Adpavvv TvyxdveLS iTTicrrdfMevos, "^v xpovos 
ore ovx rjyov etSeVat; 

AAK. 'AvdyKT]. 

2fi. AAAo, firjv a ye fjuepiddrjKag, ax^Sov n /cat 
eyd) oiSa* el 8e tl ifxe XeXrjdev, elrre. ep,a6es yap 
Srj av ye Kara p.vqp.rjv rr^v ifxrjv ypdp,p,ara /cat 
KLQapil,eiv /cat TraXaUiv ov yap Sr) avXeXv ye 
rjdeXes iMadelv raur' iarlv d ov eTrtcrracrat, et p.rj 
TTOV TL jjiavddvojv e/Lte XeXifjdas' olfMau Be ye, ovre 
vvKTCop ovre /xe^' rj/juepav eftcov evBodev. 

AAK. 'AAA' ov 7Te(f)OLrr]Ka els dXXa>v ^ rovrcov. 
107 2n. Horepov ovv, drav irepl ypap.p.drojv ^AOrj- 
valoL ^ovXevcxivr at, ttcos dv opOojs ypd(l>otev, rore 
dvaarrjarr) avrols avp-^ovXevacov ; 

AAK. Ma At" OVK eyatye. 

2il. AAA' drav irepl Kpovfidrcov ev Xvpa; 

AAK. OvBafJiOJS . 

2n. Oi58e firjv ovSe Trepl TraXaiufidriov ye 
eicoOaai ^ovXeveaOac ev rfj eKKXiqaia. 

AAK. Oi) fievroi. 


soc. Then you are a good adviser on things about 
which you actually know. 

ALC. To be sure. 

soc. And you know only the things you have learnt 
from others or discovered yourself ? 

ALC. What could I know besides ? 

soc. And can it be that you would ever have learnt 
or discovered anything without being Nvilhng either 
to learn it or to inquire into it yourself ? 

ALC. No. 

soc. Well then, would you have been willing to 
inquire into or learn what you thought you knew ? 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. So there was a time when you did not think 
that you knew what you now actually know. 

ALC. There must have been. 

soc. Well, but I know pretty nearly the things that 
you have learnt : tell me if anything has escaped me. 
You learnt, if I recollect, writing and harping and 
^\Testling ; as for fluting, you refused to learn it. 
Ihese are the things that you know, unless perhaps 
there is something you have been learning unobserved 
by me ; and this you were not, I beheve, if you so much 
as stepped out of doors either by night or by day. 

ALC. No, I have taken no other lessons than those. 

soc. Then tell me, will it be when the Athenians 
are taking advice how they are to do their \\Titing 
correctly that you are to stand up and advise them ? 

ALC. Upon my word, not I. 

soc. Well, about strokes on the lyre ? 

ALC. Not at all. 

soc. Nor in fact are they accustomed to deliberate 
on throws in AVTCstling either at the Assembly. 

ALC. No, to be sure. 



sn. "Orav ovv Trepl rlvos ^ovXevcovrai ; ov yap 
TTOV orav ye Trepl olKoBop,Las . 

AAK. Ov hrjra. 
B 2n. Ot/coSo/xos' yap ravrd ye aov ^eXriov 
arvfi^ovXevaei . 

AAK. Nat. 

5n. OuSe pbrjv orav Trepl [MavrLKT^s ^ovXevcovrai ; 

AAK. Ov. 

2n. MavTi? yap av ravra dfieivov ^ av. 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. 'Eav re ye apbiKpos r] p-eyas 17, edv re KaXos 
^ alaxpos, ere re yevvalos ^ dyewi^s. 

AAK. Yicbs yap ov; 

2n. EtSoTOS' yap, OLp,aL, Trepl eKaarov rj avp,- 
^ovXiq, /cat ov TrXovrovvros . 

AAK. ria)? yap ov; 

2n. 'AAA' eav re Trevrjs edv re ttXovulos fj 6 
TTapaivcbv , ovhev Stotcret ' Adr]vaLOLS , orav Trepl rcbv 
C ev rfj TToXeu ^ovXevcovrai, ttws av vyiaivoiev , dXXd 
tprirovoLV larpov elvai rov avp,^ovXov . 

AAK. Et/coTO)? ye. 

2n. "Orav ovv Trepl rivos oKOTTcovrai, rore av 
dvLordp-evos d)s avp,^ovXevaa}v opdaJs dvacmjcrr) ; 

AAK. "Orav Trepl rcbv eavrojv Trpaypudrcov, o) 

2n. Tcbv Trepl vavTrrjyias Aeyet?, oTrota? rivds 
Xprj avrovs rds vavs vavTrrjyela-Oai,; 

AAK. OvK eycoye, c5 Sca/cpares". 

2n. NavTT'qyelv ydp, OLp,at,ovK eTTLaraaaL. rovr* 
alriov ri aXXo Tt; 

AAK. OvK, dXXd rovro. 



soc. Then what "vnll be the subject of the ad\ice ? 
For I presume it \\"ill not be about building. 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. For a builder Avill give better advice than you 
in that matter. 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Nor yet \nl\ it be about divination ? 

ALC. No. 

soc. For there again a diviner will serve better 
than you. 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Whether he be short or tall, handsome or ugly, 
nay, noble or ignoble. 

ALC. Of course. 

soc. For on each subject the advice comes from 
one who knows, not one who has riches. 

ALC. Of course. 

soc. And whether their mentor be poor or rich will 
make no difference to the Athenians when they 
deliberate for the health of the citizens ; all that 
they require of their counsellor is that he be a 

ALC. Naturally. 

soc. Then what ynll they have under consideration 
if you are to be right in standing up, when you do so, 
as their counsellor ? 

ALC. Their own affairs, Socrates. 

soc. Do you mean \\ith regard to shipbuilding, and 
the question as to what sort of ships they ought to 
get built ? 

ALC. No, I do not, Socrates. 

soc. Because, I imagine, you do not understand 
shipbuilding. Is that, and that alone, the reason .'' 

ALC. That is just the reason. 



D 5n. 'AAAa Trepi ttolcov ra)v iavraJv Aeyet? 
TTpayfjidrcov orav ^ovXevcovr at; 

AAK. "Orav TTcpL TToXefMov, d) Sco/c/jares", rj Trepi 
elpijvrjs rj dXXov rov rcov rrjs TToXecos Trpayp^drcov. 

2n. ^Apa Xeyeis, orav ^ovXevcovrai, Trpos rivas 
Xpr] elptjvTjv TTOieiadai, /cat riai, TToXep-elv /cat rtVa 

AAK. Nat'. 

2n. y^prj S' ovx ols ^eXriov; 

AAK. Nat. 
E 2fl. Kat Tore ottotc ^dXriov; 

AAK. Udvv ye. 

2n. Kat Toaovrov ^povov oaov dpueLVOv; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Et ovv ^ovXevoivro Ad-qvaXoL, tlctl xPV 
TTpoaTTaXaieiv /cat Tiatv aKpo)(€Lpit,eadaL /cat rtVa 
rpoTTOV, ai) dfieivov dv arvfJi^ovXevoLS •^ o TracSorpL^rjs ; 

AAK. 'O TTaihorpi^ris S-qirov. 

2n. "E;^ets" ow etTreii', rrpos tl <dv>^ ^Xifrcov 6 
TTaiSorpL^rjs avfM^ovXevcreiev ols 3et irpoaTraXaieiv 
/cat ols P'Tj, /cat OTrdre /cat ovrtva rporrov; Xeyoi 
8e TO TotovSe* apa rourots' Set TTpoaTTaXaieiv, ols 
^eXriov, 7] ov; 

AAK. Nat. 
108 2n. "^Apa /cat rocraura oaa ajjuetvov; 

AAK. ToaaiJra. 

2n. Ou/cow /cat to0' ot^ dfieivov; 

AAK. navy ye. 

2n. 'AAAa /XTyi^ /cat aSoi/ra Set Kt6apit,eiv vore 
TTpos TTjv cvSrjv /cat ^aiveiv; 

1 dj' add. Burnet. 


soc. Well, on what sort of affairs of their own do 
you mean that they \W11 be deliberating ? 

ALc. On war, Socrates, or on peace, or on any other 
of the state's affairs. 

soc. Do you mean that they •wall be deliberating 
with whom they ought to make peace, and on whom 
they ought to make war, and in what manner ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And on whom it is better to do so, ought they 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And at such time as it is better ? 

ALC. Certainly. 

soc. And for so long as they had better ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Now if the Athenians should deliberate with 
whom they should wrestle close, and with whom 
only at arm's length, and in what manner, would 
you or the wrestling-master be the better adviser ? 

ALC. The AvrestUng-master, I presume. 

soc. And can you tell me what the wrestHng- 
master would have in view when he ad\ised as to 
the persons with whom they ought or ought not 
to wrestle close, and when and in what manner ? 
What I mean is something like this : ought they not 
to wrestle close with those with whom it is better to 
do so ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And so far as is better, too ? 

ALC. So far. 

soc. And at such time also as is better ? 

ALC. Certainly. 

soc. But again, when one sings, one has sometimes 
to accompany the song with harping and stepping ? 

VOL. VIII I 113 


AAK. Aet yap. 

5n. OvKovv rod^ oTTore jSeArtov; 

AAK. Nat. 

sn. Kat Toaavra oaa ^eXriov; 

AAK. ^TjfML. 

2n. Ti ovv; i7T€iSrj ^eXrcov fjbev <hv6jxat,€s I'n 

B a[jL(poT€poL£, rip re Kidapli^eiv Tvpos rrjv (pSrjv /cat 

TO) TTpoaTToXaieLV , tl KaXels to iv rep Kidapi^eLV 

^eXriov, coairep iycb ro iv rep TTaXaUw KaXco 

yvp.vaarLK6v ; av 8' iKelvo ri /caAet?; 

AAK. OvK ivvoo). 

2n. AAAa 7T€ipco ipue /xt/xetcr^at. iy oj yap ttov 
aireKpivdp.r^v ro Sta navros opdcos ^X^^> opOws 8e 
St^ttou €X€i ro Kara rrjv rexvrjv yiyvopL^vov •^ ov; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. 'H 8e rexyrj ov yvfjivacrrtKT) "^v; 

AAK. Uojs S' ov; 
2n. Eyco S cIttov ro iv rip rraXaUiv ^iXriov 

AAK. EiTres" yap. 

2n. Oj)/cow /caAo)?; 

AAK. "E/xotye 8o/cet. 

2n. "I^t Si) Koi av — npeTroL yap av rrov /cat aol 
ro KaXcos hiaXiyeadai — etTre Trpibrov, ris rj rixyq 
rjs ro KcOapl^eiv /cat ro aSetv /cat ro ip^^aiveiv 
opdios ; avvdrraaa ris /caAetrat; ovttoj Svvaaat 
eLTTelv ; 

AAK. Ov Srjra. 

2fl. 'AAA' cSSe TTeipct)' rives at deal cov rj ri^vr] ; 

^Socrates means by "better" or "the better way" the 
general method of attaining excellence in any art. 

^ Socrates here repeats /caXcDs (which means " handsomely " 


ALC. Yes, one has. 

soc. And at such time as is better ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And so far as is better ? 

ALC. I agree. 

soc. Well now, since you applied the term " better " 
to the two cases of harping for accompaniment of 
a song and close wTCstling, what do you call the 
" better " in the case of harping, to correspond with 
what in the case of \\Testling I call gymnastic ? 
WTiat do you call the other ? 

ALC. I do not understand. 

soc. Well, try to copy me : for my answer gave 
you, I think, what is correct in every instance ; and 
that is correct, I presume, which proceeds by rule of 
the art, is it not ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And was not the art here gjTnnastic ? 

ALC. To be sure. 

soc. And I said that the better ^ in the case of 
wrestling was gA'mnastic. 

ALC. You did. 

soc. And I was quite fair ? 

ALC. I think so. 

soc. 0)me then, in your timi — for it would befit 
you also, I fancy, to argue fairly ^ — tell me, first, 
what is the art which includes harping and singing 
and treading the measure correctly ? What is it 
called as a whole ? You cannot yet tell me ? 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. Well, try another way : who are the goddesses 
that foster the art ? 

as well as " correctly ") in allusion to Alcibiades' good looks. 
Cf. 113 b. 



AAK. Tas Movaas, ai TicoKpares, Xeyeis; 
D 2X1. Eycuye. opa S-q' riva aTr' aurcuv eTTCovv- 
fiiav rj rexuT) e;\;ei; 

AAK. MoyCTt/CT^v /xoi So/cets" Aeyciv. 

5n. Aeyo) yap. rt ow to Kara ravrrjv 6p9o)s 
yiyvojxevov icmv; wanep cKel iyco aoi to /card 
TTjv Te)(yr]v eXeyov opdws, rrjv yvfivaaTiKrjv, Kai crv 
Brj ovv ovTcos ivTavda tl <f>rjs ; ttojs yiyveadai; 

AAK. Moucri/ccSs' /u.ot 8o/cet. 

2n. Eu Aeyei?. tBi hrj, Kol to iv to) TroAe/xetv 
PdXTiov KOL to €V TO) ^Iprjvqv ayeiv, tovto to 
E jSeArtov tl ovoixd^eis ; (Zanep e/cet [e^' e/caoTO)]^ 
cAeyes" to dfiei-vov, otl fiovaiKcoTcpov, /cat ctti to) 
eTepo), OTL yvfivaoTLKcoTepov TretpcD 817 /cat evravda 
Ae'yetv to ^cXtlov. 

AAK. 'AAA' oj) Travu e;^aj. 

2n. AAAd fxevTOL alaxpov ye, el jxiv tls ae 
XeyovTa /cat avfi^ovXevovTa nepl gltlcdv, otl ^eXTLOv 
ToSe TovSe /cat vvv /cat tooovtov, eneLTa epcoTiqaeLe , 
TL TO dfieLvov XeyeLS, c5 ' AA/ct^taSrj ; nepl fiev 
Toxrrcov ^x^lv elvelv otl to vyLeLvoTepov , KaLTOL 
ov TTpoaTTOLT] ye LaTpos elvaL' Trepl 8e ov TrpoaTTOLrj 
109 eTTLaTrjiMoyv elvaL /cat av/ji^ovXevaeLS dvLOTapievos 
(VS elScos, TOVTOV Ss, COS" eoLKas, irepL epcoT-qdels 
idv firj exjjS elTrelv, ovk alaxvvrj; rj ovk alaxpov 

AAK. Ildvv ye. 

^ i(l> eKda-Tij) secl. Schanz. 



ALC. The Muses, you mean, Socrates ? 

see. I do. Now, just think, and say by what name 
the art is called after them. 

ALC. Music,^ I suppose you mean. 

soc. Yes, I do. And what is that which proceeds 
correctly by its rule ? As in the other case I was 
correct in mentioning to you gymnastic as that which 
goes by the art, so I ask you, accordingly, what you 
say in this case. What manner of proceeding is 
required ? 

ALC. A musical one, I suppose. 

soc. You are right. Come then, what is it that 
you term " better," in respect of what is better in 
waging war and being at peace ? Just as in our other 
instances you said that the " better " implied the 
more musical and again, in the parallel case, the more 
gymnastical, try now if you can tell me what is the 
" better " in this case. 

ALC. But I am quite unable. 

soc. But surely that is disgraceful ; for if you 
^/should speak to somebody as his adviser on food, and 
say that one sort was better than another, at this 
time and in this quantity, and he then asked you — 
WTiat do you mean by the " better," Alcibiades ? — 
in a matter hke that you could tell him you meant 
the more wholesome, although you do not set up to 
be a physician ; yet in a case where you set up to 
have knowledge and are ready to stand up and 
advise as though you knew, are you not ashamed to 
be unable, as appears, to answer a question upon it ? 
Does it not seem disgraceful ? 

ALC. Very. 

^ " Music " with the Greeks included poetry and dancing 
as well as our " music." 



2n. S/co7ret Srj Kal TTpoOviJiov elirelv, rrpog^ tl 
reivei ro iv ro) elprjvrjv re ayeiv dfietvov Kal to eV 
TO) TToXejJielv ois Set; 

AAK. 'AAAa GKOTTcbv ov Swajuat ivvorjuai. 

2n. Ou8' olada, eireihav -noXefiov Trotoj/xe^a, o rt 
ey/caAourre? aAAT^Aoi? -rrddrjiia ipxofieda els to 
B TToXefielv, Kal o ri avro ovofidiovres epxop^fo.; ^ 

AAK. "Eycoye, on ye e^aTTaro}p.€voi rt rj ^la^o- 
p,evoL ri diToarepovpievoi. 

2n. "Exe- Trojs eKaara rovTMV Trdaxovres ; iretpu) 
elTTelv, ri hia^epei ro cSSe r) (hhe. ^ ^ 

AAK. ''H ro (SSe Aeyet?, & I^coKpares, ro StKaiaJS 
^ TO dhiKOJs ; 

2n. Auto rovro. ^ ^ 

AAK. 'AAAa iJi-qv rovro ye hia<j)epei oXov re Kai 

TTav. , , 

2n. Tt ovv; "AO-qvaioLS av rrpos TTorepovs avp,- 
^ovXevaeis TToXepuelv, rovs dSiKovvras rj rovs ra 
hUaia TTpdrrovras ; ^ ^ 

AAK. Aeivov rovro ye epcoras- ct yap xat bta- 
voeZrai ris <Ls Set Trpos rovs ra BUaia Trpdrrovras 
TToXefieiv, ovK av ofioXoyrjaeie ye. 

2ri. Ov yap v6p.ip.ov rovd\ (hs eoiKev. 

AAK. Ov Brjra- ovbe ye KaXov So/cet elvaL. 

sn. Upos ravr dpa Kal av [ro SiKaLovY rovs 
Xoyovs TTOirjar); 

AAK. 'AvdyKT]. , ^ ■> f o'\ 

Sn. "AAAo Tt ovv, o vvv Srj eyio rjpa^rojv jfieAriov 
Trpos ro TToXep,elv Kal p-rj, Kal oh Set /cat ots p^rj, 

1 t6 diKaiov seel. Nurnberger. 


soc. Then consider and do your best to tell me the 
connexion of " better " in being at peace or at war 
with those to whom we ought to be so disposed. 

ALC. Well, I am considering, but I fail to perceive it. 

soc. But you must know what treatment it is that 
we allege against each other when we enter upon a 
war, and what name we give it when we do so ? 

ALC. I do : we say we are victims of deceit or 
violence or spoUation. 

soc. Enough : how do we suffer each of these 
things ? Try and tell me what difference there is 
between one way and another. 

ALC. Do you mean by that, Socrates, whether it is 
in a just way or an unjust way ? 

soc. Precisely. 

ALC. Why, there you have all the difference in the 

soc. Well then, on which sort are you going to 
advise the Athenians to make war — those who are 
acting unjustly, or those who are doing what is 

ALC. That is a hard question : for even if someone 
decides that he must go to war with those who 
are doing what is just, he would not admit that they 
were doing so. 

soc. For that would not be lawful, I suppose ? 

ALC. No, indeed ; nor is it considered honourable 

soc. So you too will appeal to these things in 
making your speeches ? 

ALC. Necessarily. 

soc. Then must not that " better " about which 
I was asking in reference to making or not making 
war, on those on whom we ought to or not, and 



Kat oTTore koL fi-q, to ScKatorepov rvyxdvei 6v ; 
ri ov; 

AAK. OatVcrat ye. 
D 2n. 00;? ovv, c5 ^t'Ae ' AA/ci^iaST^ ; norepov 
aavrov XeXrjdas on ouk eTriaraaaL tovto, t] e/xe 
e'Aa^es" fiavOdvcov /cat (^oircbv els StSacr/caAou, 6s ae 
eSiSacr/ce 8tayj-yra»a/cetv ro SiKaiorepov re /cat 
dSiKiorepov ; Kal ris ecmv ovtos; (f>pdaov /cai 
e/xot, tva avrcp (l>oiTr]rrjV Trpo^evqarjs Kal e/x.e. 

AAK. H/ccaTrrei?, co HiOKpares. 

2n. Oj) /xd rov Ot'Atoi^ rdi' e/xov re /cat ctov, ov eyo) 
E TjKiar dv eTnopKrjaaLjjiL' dAA' etVep ^x^ts, elirk ris 
ear IV. 

AAK. Tt 8', et jLtT^ e;!^a); ovk dv otet /xe d'AAo)? 
etSevat xrept ra>v hiKaicov /cat dSt/ccor; 

2n. Nat, et ye evpois. 

AAK. AAA ou/c dv evpeZv fie TjyTJ; 

2n. Kat /LtaAa ye, et ^T^rTyCTais". 

AAK. Etra ^r]r7JaaL ovk dv otet /xe; 

2n. "Eyojye, et ol-qOelrjs ye /X17 etSevat. 

AAK. Etra OVK rjv or' etxov ovrcos; 

2n. KaAcDs" Ae'yets". ex^i? ow etTreiv rovrov rov 

110 ;;^povov, ore oy/c ojoy elSevai rd St/cata /cat rd 

dSt/ca; (j>epe, TrepvoLV el,rireis re /cat oi)/c oiov 

elhevai; 7) ojoy; /cat rahqdi) dnoKpivov, Iva p,r] 

fidrrjv ol SidAoyot yiyvcxivrai. 

AAK. 'AAA' MjJbTjv elSevai. 

2X1. Tptrov 8e eros /cat reraprov Kal TrefMnrov 
ovx ovrojs ; 

AAK. "Eyojye. 

1 Cf. above, 106 e, 


when we ought to or not, be simply and solely the 
juster ? 

ALC. Apparently it is. 

soc. How now, friend Alcibiades ? Have you 
overlooked your OAvn ignorance of this matter, or 
have I overlooked ^ your learning it and taking lessons 
of a master who taught you to distinguish the more 
just and the more unjust ? And who is he ? Inform 
me in my turn, in order that you may introduce me 
to him as another pupil. 

ALC. You are joking, Socrates. 

soc. No, I swear by our common God of Friend- 
ship, whose name I would by no means take in vain. 
Come, if you can, tell me who the man is. 

ALC. But what if I cannot ? Do you think I could 
not know about what is just and unjust in any other 


soc. Yes, you might, supposing you discovered it. 

ALC. But do you not think I might discover it ? 

soc. Yes, quite so, if you inquired. 

ALC. And do you not think I might inquire ? 

soc. I do, if you thought you did not know. 

ALC. And was there not a time when I held that 
view ? 

soc. Well spoken. Then can you tell me at what 
time it was that you thought you did not know what 
is just and unjust ? Pray, was it a year ago that 
you were inquiring, and thought you did not know ? 
Or did you think you knew ? Please answer truly, 
that our debates may not be futile. 

ALC. Well, I thought I knew. 

soc. And two years, and three years, and four 
years back, were you not of the same mind ? 

ALC. I was. 



2n. AAAo, [i-^v TO ye 7rp6 rovrov ttols rjada. 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Tore /xev rolvvv ev olSa on coov elSevac. 

AAK. riais" €v olaOa; 
B 2n. noAAa/ct? crov iv StSacncaAcor tjkovov 77ai8os" 
ovros KOL olXXoOl, Kal 6tt6t€ darpayaXi^oLS r) aXX-qv 
TLva TratStav Trat'^ots", ou;)( clij OLTTopovvros Trepl ruiv 
BiKaicov Kal olSlkcov, dXXa fxaXa fieya Kal dappa- 
Aeo)? Xeyovros Trepl orov tv^ols rcov valScov, cos 
TTOVTjpos re /cat ahiKos etrj Kal ws dSt/cot* t] ovk 
dXrjdrj Xeyoi; 

AAK. 'AAAo, ri e/LteAAov TTOielv, c5 TtWKpareg, 
OTTore Tts" /ie dSt/cot; 

2n. Su 8' et Tu;^ots' dyvoojv eire dSt/coto etre jLti^ 
Tore, Aeyetj, ti ae ;)^/3')7 irot-elv; 
.C AAK. Md At" dAA' OVK rjyvoovv eyojye, dXXd 
aa(f)cos iyiyvwcTKov on rjSiKovp.'qv . 

2n. "Q-Lov dpa eTnaraddaL /cat TTat? cov, cos eocKC, 
rd BiKaia Kal rd dSt/ca. 

AAK. "Eyojye* /cat -^TnardpLrjv ye. 

2n. 'Ej/ ttolo) xpovcp e^evpcov; ov ydp S-^ttov iv 
w ye a)ov elSevai. 

AAK. Ov hrjra. 

2n. ndre ovv dyvoelv 'qyov; aKorrei' ov ydp 
evprjoeis rovrov rdv xP^vov. 

AAK. Md rov At", 60 TicoKpares, ovkovv exo) y' 
D 2X1. EtJ^cop' /xev' d'pa ovk olaOa avrd. 

AAK. Ov TTOvv ^aivofxai. 

2n. 'AAAd pi,r]V dpn ye ovhe puadajv e<f)riada etSe- 



soc. But, you see, before that time you were a 
child, were you not ? 
ALc. Yes. 

soc. So I know well enough that then you thought 
you knew. 

ALC. How do you know it so well ? 

soc. Many a time I heard you, when as a child 
you were dicing or playing some other game at your 
teacher's or elsewhere, instead of sho^\ing hesitation 
about what was just and unjust, speak in very loud 
and confident tones about one or other of your play- 
mates, saying he was a rascal and a cheat who played 
unfairly. Is not this a true account ? 

ALC. But what was I to do, Socrates, when some- 
body cheated me ? 

soc. Yet if you were ignorant then whether you 
were being unfairly treated or not, how can you ask 
— " What are you to do ? " 

ALC. Well, but on my word, I was not ignorant : 
no, I clearly understood that I was being wronged. 

soc. So you thought you knew, even as a child, it 
seems, what was just and unjust. 

ALC. I did ; and I knew too. 

soc. At what sort of time did you discover it ? 
For surely it was not while you thought you knew. 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. Then when did you think you were ignorant ? 
Consider ; I beheve you will fail to find such a time. 

ALC. Upon my word, Socrates, I really cannot 

soc. So you do not know it by discovery. 

ALC. Not at all, apparently. 

soc. But you said just now that you did not know 
it by learning either ; and if you neither discovered 



var el Se /at)^' rjvpes firire efjuades, ttws otaOa Koi 
TTodev ; 

AAK. AAA' Xacos rovro aoi ovk opOcos a7re/cpt- 
va/X7yv, TO (fydvai elSevat avros e^evpcov. 

Sfi. To 8e TTCos €ix€v; 

AAK. lEifiadov, olfiaL, /cat iyoj wcTrep /cat ol 

2n. HaAtr els Tov avrov rJKOfiev Xoyov. rrapa 
Tov; ^pdt,e Kdfiol. 
E AAK. Ilapa rcov ttoXXwv. 

2n. Ovk els uTTovSalovs ye SiSaa/caAous" /cara- 
(j)evy€is els rovs ttoXXovs dva^epcov . 

AAK. Tt Se; ovx LKavol StSa^at ovtol; 

2,n. OvKovv TO. TTerrevTLKd ye koi rd firj- Kairoi 
^avXorepa aind otfiai raJv SiKaicov eivat. rt 8e; 
av ovx ovTcos otei.; 

AAK. Nat. 

5n. Eira rd p.ev (^auAorepa ovx °^°'' '''^ StSacr/cetv, 
TO, 8e aTTovhaiorepa; 

AAK. Ot/Ltat eycoye* aAAa yow ttoAAo. otot r' etcrt 
StSacr/cetv' cmovBaioTepa tov Trerreveiv. 

2n. Ilota ravra; 
111 AAK. Otov Kat TO eXXrjVL^eiv Trapd rovrcov eycoye 
efiadov, /cat ovk dv exoipn elnelv efxavrov StSa- 
OKaXov, aAA' els rovs avrovs dva(^epa), ovs av <f>rjs 
ov aTTOvSaiovs etvai StSaa/caAou?. 

2n. 'AAA', d) yevvale, rovrov fxev dyadol StSa- 
cr/caAot ol ttoXXoL, /cat St/cat'cos' eTraivolvr^ dv avrcbv 
els StSacr/caAtW. 

AAK. Tt 817; 

2n. "Ort exovai rrepl avrd d XP^ tovs dyadovs 
StSaCT/caAous' e^'eti'. 


nor learnt it, how do you come to know it, and 
whence ? 

ALc. Well, perhaps that answer I gave you was 
not correct, that I knew it by my own discovery. 

soc. Then how was it done ? 

ALC. I learnt it, I suppose, in the same way as 
everyone else. 

soc. Back we come to the same argument. From 
whom ? Please tell me. 

ALC. From the many. 

soc. They are no ver\' serious teachers with 
whom you take refuge, if you ascribe it to the 
many ! 

ALC. Why, are they not competent to teach ? 

soc. Not how to play, or not to play, draughts ; 
and yet that, I imagine, is a slight matter compared 
with justice. What ? Do you not think so ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Then if they are unable to teach the shghter, 
can they teach the more serious matter ? 

ALC. I think so : at any rate, there are many other 
things that they are able to teach, more serious than 

soc. What sort of things ? 

ALC. For instance, it was from them that I leamt 
to speak Greek, and I could not say who was my 
teacher, but can only ascribe it to the same people 
who, you say, are not serious teachers. 

soc. Ah, gallant sir, the many may be good 
teachers of that, and they can justly be praised for 
their teaching of such subjects. 

ALC. And why ? 

soc. Because in those subjects they have the 
equipment proper to good teachers. 



AAK. Tt Tovro XeycLs; 

2n. OvK oXad^ on xprj tovs fMcXXovras 8t8aa/ceiv 
oTLOvv avrovs TTporrov etSeVat; •^ ov; 
B AAK. ricos' yap ov; 

2fl. OvKovv TOVS elSoras o^oAoyetv re dAAT^Aoi? 
/cat firj 8La(f)€peadaL; 

AAK. Nat. 

5n. 'Ev ots S' ai^ hia(f)epoiVTai, ravra (fi-qaeis 
€i8evat avrovs; 

AAK. Oy Brjra. 

2n. TouTcov ow StSacricaAot ttcos" ai^ etev; 

AAK. OuSajLtdJ?. 

2n. Tt ouv ; SoKovGL aoi Sia^epecr^at ot ttoAAoi 
TTolov iaTL XlOos ^ ^vXov ; /cat ear rtj/a ipwr as, ap 
C ou TO, aura 6p.oXoyovai, /cat ctti Taura opfxcoaiv, 
orav ^ovXcovrai, Xa^elv Xidov r) ^vXov; waavrois 
Kttt TTavd^ oca TOLavra' crp^eSor yap rt p.avddva> ro 
iXXrjVL^eiv eTriaraadai on rovro Ae'yets" rj ov; 

AAK. Nat. 

sn. Ou/cow €1? /xei^ Tavd\ (Lanep etTTOfiev, aAA?^- 
Aot? T€ ofjioXoyovai /cat ayrot iavrols tSta, /cat 
SrjiJLoaia at TroAet? Trpoj aAAi^Aa? ow/c diJ,(f)La^'qrov(nv 
at /iei' Tay^ at 8 aAAa (l>a(jKovaaL; 

AAK. Oj) yap. 
J) 2n. Et/coTOJS' av apa rovrcov ye /cat 8t8acr/caAot 
etei' dyadoi. 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Ou/cow ei jLtet' ^ovXoipbeda TTOirjaai nva Trepi 
ayrcSv €i8eVat, opdcas dv avrov 7T€fi7Toif.Lev els 8t8a- 
OKaXiav tovtcov tcvv ttoXXojv ; 



ALc. What do you mean by that ? 

see. You know that those who are going to teach 
anything should first know it themselves, do you 

ALC. Of course. 

soc. And that those who know should agree with 
each other and not differ ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. But if they differ upon anything, will you 
say that they know it ? 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. Then how can they be teachers of it ? 

ALC. By no means. 

soc. Well now, do you find that the many differ 
about the nature of stone or wood ? If you ask one 
of them, do they not agree on the same answer, and 
make for the same things when they want to get 
a piece of stone or wood ? It is just the same, too, 
\\ith everything of the sort : for I am pretty nearly 
right in understanding you to mean just this by 
knowing how to speak Greek, am I not ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And on these matters, as we stated, they not 
only agree vAih each other and with themselves in 
private, but states also use in pubhc the same terms 
about them to each other, without any dispute ? 

ALC. They do. 

soc. Then naturally they will be good teachers 
of these matters. 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And if we should wish to pro^•ide anyone 
with knowledge of them, we should be right in 
sending him to be taught by •'•' the many " that you 
speak of ? 



AAK. Udvv ye. 

Sn. Tt 8' el ^ovXyjOeiixev elSevai, fjirj fxovov 

TToloi dvdpCOTTOL el<JLV Tj TToloi L7T7TOL, dXXd /Cat TLVeS 

avTcov SpojLtt/cot re /cat /xt^, d/a' en ot ttoXXol rovro 
iKavol StSa^at; 

AAK. Ov Srjra. 

2n. iKavov Be aoi reK^-qpiov , on ovk eTrtcrravraL 
^ ovBe Kprj-yvoL StSacr/caAot etat rovrcov, eTreiBr] ovBev 
opLoXoyovaiv eavrots irepl avrcbv; 

AAK. "E/xotyc, 

2n. Tt 8' et ^ovX'qdeiripi.ev elBevat, firj fxovov 
TTOLOI avOpojTTOL eloLV , aAA' OTTOtoi vyieivol •^ voad>- 
heis, dpa LKavol dv tj/xIv rjaav 8i8aa/caAot ot ttoXXol; 

AAK. Oj5 STjra. 

2n. 'Hv 8 dv aoi reKjJiiqpLov on p.o)(dr]poL elai, 
rovrcov BiBdaKokoi, el idypas avrovs Bia<jiepop.evovs ; 

AAK. "E/xotye. 

2n. Tt 8e 87^; vvv TTepl rd>v St/catcov /cat dSt/ccov 
112 dvdpd}TT(xiv /cat TTpayfxdrojv ol ttoXXoI BoKovai aoi 
ofxoXoyeiv avrol eavroZg rj aXXrjXois ; 

AAK. "H/ctcrra V17 At", c5 ljd)Kpares. 

2n. Tt 8e; fidXcara nepl avrcJov Bia^epeadai; 

AAK. IloAu ye. 

5n. Oy/coyv oto/iat ye irdtTTore ere 18611^ 01)8' 
d/coucrat cr^o8pa ourto Siacfyepofievovs dvOpdmovs 
trepl vyieLvdJv /cat //,t7, cScrre 8td ravra p.d-)(eadai re 
Koi diTOKnvvvvai dXXriXovs. 

AAK. Oy 87^ra. 

2n. 'AAAd 7re/)i roip' 8t/cat60v /cat d8t/ca)v eycoye 
B ot8' ort, /cat et ^17 id)paKag, aKi^Koas yovv diXXcov 



ALC. Certainly. 

soc. But what if we wished to know not only 
what men were like or what horses were like, but 
which of them were good runners or not ? Would 
the many still suffice to teach us this ? 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. And you haye ample proof that they do not 
know this, and are not proficient teachers of it, in 
their not agreeing about it at all with themselves ? 

ALC. I haye. 

soc. And what if we wished to know not only 
what men were Uke, but what healthy or diseased 
men were like } Would the many suffice to teach 
us .'' 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. And you would haye proof of their being 
bad teachers of that, if you saw them differing 
about it ? 

ALC. I should. 

soc. Well then, do you now find that the many 
agree with themselyes or each other about just and 
unjust men or things ? 

ALC. Far from it, on my word, Socrates. 

soc. In fact, they differ most especially on these 
points ? 

ALC. Very much so. 

soc. And I suppose you never yet saw or heard 
of people differing so sharply on questions of health 
or the opposite as to fight and kill one another in 
battle because of them. 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. But on questions of justice or injustice I ato 
sure you have ; and if you have not seen them, at 
any rate you have heard of them from many people, 

VOL. VIII K 1 29 


T€ TToXXwv Kol 'OfJb^pov. /cttt 'OSucTcretas' yap /cat 
lAtaSos" a.K'qKoas. 

AAK. Hdvrcjs St^ttov, cb TicoKpares. 

2n. OvKovv ravra TTOL-qfiaTa iari Trepl hia<j>opds 
hiKaiojv re /cat ahiKijov ; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Kai at fxaxo-t ye /cat ol ddvaroL Sid ravrrjv 
TTjv Sta(f)opdv rois re A;^atots' /cat roZs aXXois 
Tpcoaiv eyevovro, /cat rot? jjivqcnrrjpcn rots Trjs 
YirjveXoTTrjs /cat rco 'OSuaaet. 
C AAK. ^AXr]6rj Xeyeis. 

2n. OlfMai Se /cat rots' ev Tavaypa ^ A.drjvaLo)v re 
/cat AaKeSaLfMovLcov /cat Boia/rciiv a.TTodavovai, /cat 
Tot? varepov ev Hopcoveia, ev oi? /cat o cto? Trar7]p 
[KAeti^t'as"]^ ereXevrrjaev , ovhe Trepl evos dXXov rj 
8ia(f)opd 7] Trepl rod 8t/catou /cat aSt'/cou tou? davd- 
rovs /cat to.? pbd^o-S TTerroirjKev. ■^ ydp; 

AAK. ^AXrjdi] Xeyeis . 

2X1. TouToys' ow ^cbpiev eTnaraaOai, Trepi (hv 
D ovrcxi a(f)6hpa hia^epovrat, coare djjt,(f)ia^r]rovvres 
aXX-^Xois rd eaxo-ra a^ds avrovs epy dl^ovr ai ; 

AAK. Ov (f)aiveraL ye. 

2n. OvKovv els rovs roiovrovs hSaoKoXovs dva- 
<f>epeLS, ovs opioXoyels avros fjirj elSevai; 

AAK. "Eot/ca. 

2n. HdJs ovv eLKOs ere elSevai rd St/cata /cat rd 
aSt/ca, Trepl coj^ ouro) TrXava /cat oure fj.add>v (f)aLvrj 
Trap* ovSevos ovre avros e^evpcov; 

AAK. 'E/c /xev' c5r cri) Xeyeis ovk eiKos. 

J KXetvias om. Proclus. 


especially Homer. For you have heard ^ the Odyssey 
and the Iliad ? 

ALC. I certainly have, I suppose, Socrates, 

soc. And these poems are about a difference of 
just and unjust ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And from this difference arose the fights and 
deaths of the Achaeans, and of the Trojans as well, 
and of the suitors of Penelope in their strife with 

ALC. That is true. 

soc. And I imagine that when the Athenians and 
Spartans and Boeotians lost their men at Tanagra,^ 
and later at Coronea,^ among whom your o>\'n father 
perished, the difference that caused their deaths and 
fights was solely on a question of just and unjust, 
was it not ? 

ALC. That is true. 

soc. Then are we to say that these people under- 
stand those questions, on which they differ so sharply 
that they are led by their mutual disputes to take 
these extreme measures against each other ? 

ALC. Apparently not. 

soc. And you refer me to teachers of that sort, 
whom you admit yourself to be without knowledge ? 

ALC. It seems I do. 

soc. Then how is it likely that you should know 
what is just and unjust, when you are so bewildered 
about these matters and are shown to have neither 
learnt them from anyone nor discovered them for 
yourself ? 

ALC. By what you say, it is not Ukely. 

^ i.e. at the recitations of rhapsodes ; cf. the Ion of Plato. 
* 457 B.C. • 447 B.C. 



E 2n. 'Opas av rovd^ ws ov KaXcos ctTres", c5 
AA/cij8ta8rj ; 

AAK. To TToZov ; 

2n. "On e/Lte ^i]? ro-vra Xeyeiv. 

AAK. Tt 8e; ov ai) Xeyeis, co? eycu ovk cttl- 
CTTa/xat TTcpt Tcov htKaioJV /cat aSt/ccov; 

sn. Ou fxevTOL. 

AAK. 'AAA' eycti; 

2n. Nat. 

AAK. Ilws 817; 

2n. ^Q.Be elarj. idv ere epco/xat to ev- /cat to. Suo, 
TTorepa TrAet'cu ecrrt, <f)TJa€is on ra Svo; 

AAK. "Eycuye. 

sn. Tloacp; 

AAK. 'Evt. 

2n. ndrepos' ovv rjixojv o Xiyiov, ort ra Suo rod 
evos evL TrAetco; 

AAK. 'Eydj. 

2n. OvKovv eyoj /xev rjpa)Tcov, au Se aTreKpivov ; 

AAK. Nat. 
113 2n. rie/ot St) toutcov fxcov iyoj ^atVojLtai Aeycov o 
ipcoTa>v, rj GV 6 aTTOKpiv6p,€Vos ; 

AAK. 'Eyt6. 

2n. Ti 8' av eya; p,ev epcofxai,^ rrola ypapLp-ara 
YjixiKpdrovs , av 8e e'iTTrjs, rrorepog 6 Xeycov ; 

AAK. 'Eyc6. 

2n. "I^t 87^, ivl Xoyo) elrre- orav ipdorrjais re /cat 
OLTTOKpiats yCyvrjTai, rrorepos o Xeycov, o epiorojv ^ o 
oiTTOKpivofJbevos ; 

AAK. '0 OLTTOKpcvoixevos, l/Ltoiye SoKel, c5 Sco- 

1 epwfiai Olympiodorus : epw /cat mss. 


soc. There again, Alcibiades, do you see how 
unfairly you speak ? 

ALC. In what ? 

soc. In stating that I say so. 

ALC. Why, do you not say that I do not know 
about the just and unjust ? 

soc. Not at all. 

ALC. Well, do / say it ? 

soc. Yes. 

ALC. How, pray ? 

soc. I -will show you, in the following way. If I 
ask you which is the greater number, one or two, 
you \vi\\ answer " two " ? 

ALC. Yes, I shall. 

soc. How much greater ? 

ALC. By one. 

soc. Then which of us says that two are one more 
than one ? 

ALC. I. 

soc. And I was asking, and you were answering ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Then is it I, the questioner, or you the 
answerer, that are found to be speaking about these 
things } 

ALC. I. 

soc. And what if I ask what are the letters in 
" Socrates," and you tell me ? Which will be the 
speaker ? 

ALC. I. 

soc. Come then, tell me, as a principle, when we 
have question and answer, which is the speaker — the 
questioner, or the answerer ? 

ALC. The answerer, I should say, Socrates. 



B 2n. OvKovv dpTL Bca ttovtos rod Xoyov iyo) /xev 
"q 6 ipayrcov ; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Si) Se o avoKpLvoiMevos ; 

AAK. riavu ye. 

2n. Tt ovv ; ra Xe-)(devra TTorepos rjjJiwv etprjKcv ; 

AAK. OatVo/Ltai /xeV, to UdoKpares, e/f roii/ (Lfio- 
Xoyr^fMevcov iyo). 

2fl. Oj3xow iXexdy] TTepl 8i/cata»v /cat aSt/ccov on 

AXKi^LaSrjs 6 KaXos 6 KAeivtou ovk eTriaravro, 

oLoiTO Se, /cat fxeXXoL ei? eKKXrjaiav iXdojv avfi- 

^ovXevaeiv WdrjvaioLS Trept cSv ouSev oiSei'; ov 

ravr" rjv; 

C AAK. <I>atVeTat. 

2n. To ToiJ EuptTTt'Soy apa avp.^aivei, co 'AA/ct- 
PidS-q- (Tov raSe /ctP'Syveuets", dAA' oi)/c ejuou OLKr^Koe- 
vai, ovB* iyco elpn 6 ravra Xeycov, dXXd av, ifxe 8e 
alria fidTrjv. /cat {mcvtoi /cat eu Aeyet?. fMaviKov 
yap iv va> e)(€is eTnx^iprjfMa ivLX^tpelv , d> jSeArtcrTe, 
SiSacr/cetv' a ovk olada, d/xeAi^cras" p,av6dv€iv. 
D AAK. Ot/xat /xeV, c3 HcoKpares, oAtyct/ct? ^AOrjvai- 
ovs ^ovXeveadat /cat tou? dAAou? "EAATji^a?, TTorepa 
SiKaiorepa rj dhiKcorepa- to. fiev yap rotaura 
rjyovvTai SrjXa etrat* idaavrcs ovv Trepl avrcbv 
GKOTTovaLV OTTOTepa avvoiaeL Trpd^auLV. ov yap 
ravra, olpiai, earl ra re 8t/cata /cat ra avix<j)epovra, 
aXXd TToXXots Br] iXvacreX-qcrev dSt/CT^craot fxeyaXa 
d8iKT]p,ara, Kal irepoig ye, otyitat, St/cata epyaaa- 
fievoLs ov avvqveyKev. 

2n. Tt ovv; el ort, /xctAtora erepa fiev ra St/cata 

* Hippolytus, 352 — croC T-ctS', oux- ^/ioO »cX(;e<s. 


soc. And throughout the argument so far, I was 
the questioner ? 

ALc. Yes. 

soc. And you the answerer ? 

ALC. Quite so. 

soc. Well then, which of us has spoken what has 
been said ? 

ALC. Apparently, Socrates, from what we have 
admitted, it was I. 

soc. And it was said that Alcibiades, the fair son 
of Cleinias, did not know about just and unjust, 
but thought he did, and intended to go to the 
Assembly as adviser to the Athenians on what he 
knows nothing about ; is not that so ? 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. Then, to quote Euripides,^ the result is, 
Alcibiades, that you may be said to have " heard it 
from yourself, not me," and it is not I who say it, 
but you, and you tax me with it in vain. And indeed 
what you say is quite true. For it is a mad scheme 
this, that you meditate, my excellent friend — of 
teaching things that you -do not know, since you 
have taken no care to learn them. 

ALC. I think, Socrates, that the Athenians and the 
rest of the Greeks rarely deliberate as to wliich is 
the more just or unjust course : for they regard 
questions of this sort as obvious ; and so they pass 
them over and consider which course will prove more 
expedient in the result. For the just and the ex- 
pedient, I take it, are not the same, but many people 
have profited by great wTongs that they have 
committed, whilst others, I imagine, have had no 
advantage from doing what was right. 

soc. What then ? Granting that the just and the 



E Tuyp^avct ovra, erepa Se ra avfJt.(f)€povTa, ov tl ttov 
av av OL€L ravra elhivai a avfX(f>epeL rols dvdpcoTTOis, 
/cat 8i o Tt; 

AAK. Tt yap KOiXveL, cb HcoKpares ; et fi-q //.e av 
ipT]arrj Trap* orov efiadov -^ 07760? avrog rjvpov. 

5n. Olov TOVTO TToiels' et Tt [JbT] opdcos Xeyeis, 
Tvyxo-V€t 8e Svvarov ov aTroSet^at St ovirep /cat to 
nporepov Xoyov, otet 817 /catvd ctTTa Setv d/coueti/ 
(XTT-oSet^ets" Te erepag, cos tojv TrpoTepcov olov 
aKcvapicov Kararerpifjipbevcov, /cat ovKer av av 
auTo. dfXTTtaxoLO, et jlit^ TtV crot reK^Jb-qpiov Kadapov 
114 /cat dxpo-VTOV otaet. eyo) Se xaLpeiv idaas rag ads 
7TpoSpop,dg rev Xoyov ovSev fjrrov epr^aojiai, irodev 
pLaOojv av rd avpL^epovra erriaTaaaL, /cat dans 
earlv 6 hihaoKaXos , /cat TravT eKelva ra Trporepov 
epcjord) pud ipwr-qaef dXXd ydp SijXov d)s et? rav- 
Tov Tj^eis /cat ovx e^eis dxroSet^at ovd^ ojs i^evpdjv 
otada ra avpL<j)€povra ovd^ ws p,a6(x)v. lirethr] Se 
rpv<f}as /cat ovKer^ av • rjSeojs rov avrov yevaaio 
Xoyov, rovrov fiev id) p^^at/aett", etTe otada etTe p.rj 
B rd ^ AdrfvaloLs avpL^epovra- irorepov Se TauTa ecTt 
St/catd T€ /cat avp,(j)epovTa r) erepa, ri ovk an- 
eSei^a?; et p,ev /SouAet, epcordjv /xe coanep eyd> 
ae, el Se, /cat auTOS" evrt ceafToy Aoya> hie^eXde. 

AAK. 'AAA' ou/c otSa et oto? t' dv etT^v, c5 Scij- 
Kpares, rrpos ae hieXOeZv. 

212. 'AAA', w ^yade, ep,e eKKXrjaiav vopnaov /cat 
BrjfjLov Kal e'/cet Tot ae Seiqaet, eva eKaarov TieideLV. 
rj ydp; 


expedient are in fact as different as they can be, 
you surely do not still suppose you know what is 
expedient for mankind, and why it is so ? 

ALc. Well, what is the obstacle, Socrates, — unless 
you are going to ask me again from whom I learnt 
it, or how I discovered it for myself ? 

soc. What a way of going on ! If your answer is 
incorrect, and a previous argument can be used to 
prove it so, you claim to be told something new, and 
a different hne of proof, as though the previous one 
were hke a poor worn-out coat which you refuse to 
wear any longer ; you must be provided instead 
with something clean and unsoiled in the way of 
evidence. But I shall ignore your sallies in debate, 
and shall none the less ask you once more, where 
you learnt your knowledge of what is expedient, 
and who is your teacher, asking in one question 
all the things I asked before ; and now you ^^•ill 
clearly find yourself in the same plight, and will 
be unable to prove that you know the expedient 
either through discovery or through learning. But 
as you are dainty, and would dislike a repeated taste 
of the same argument, I pass over this question of 
whether you know or do not know what is expedient 
for the Athenians : but why have you not made it 
clear whether the just and the expedient are the same 
or different ? If you like, question me as I did you, 
or if you prefer, argue out the matter in your own 

ALC. But I am not sure I should be able, Socrates, 
to set it forth to you. 

soc. Well, my good sir, imagine I am the people 
in Assembly ; even there, you know, you will have 
to persuade each mian singly, will you not ? 



AAK. Nai. 

2n. OvKovv Tov avTov eva re olov re etvai Kara 
C fJ-ovas TTeideiv Kal avfXTToXXovs Trepl JJv av clSfj, 
(oanep o ypafifiarLarrjs eva re ttov TreWet irepl 
ypafjbfxdrojv Kal ttoXXovs; 

AAK. Nai. 

2n. 'Ap' ovv OX) Kal Trepl dpLd/xov 6 avros eva re 
Kal TToXXovs TTeiaei; 

AAK. Nat. 

Sfl. Ovros 8' earai 6 elhcog, 6 dpiOfirjrLKos; 

AAK. Udvv ye. 

2n. OvKovv Kal av drrep Kal ttoXXovs olos re 
TTeideiv el, ravra Kal eva; 

AAK. lEiLKos ye. 

2n. EoTi 8e ravra SrjXov on a otada. 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. "AAAo Tt ovv roaovrov [movov hLa(f>epei rev ev 
D rep St^/xoj p-qropos 6 ev rfj rotaSe avvovaia, ort o 
fxev adpoovs rteidei rd avrd, 6 he KaO^ eva; 

AAK. K.ivBvvevei,. 

2,0.. "Wl vvv, eTTeLSrj rov avrov ^aiverat rroXXovs 
re /cat eva TreiOeiv, ev ep,ol ep,fMeXer7]aov Kal ein- 
Xetprjaov eTTiSet^ai cti? rd BiKaiov eviore ov crvp,- 

AAK. 'Y^ptarrjs el, cS HcoKpares. 

2ii. Nw yovv v(f)* vfipeo)s fieXXco ae rre'iQew 
rdvavrla ots av efxe ovk edeXeis. 

AAK. Aeye Bij. 

2n. Attokplvov fiovov rd epa>r(x)fieva. 
E AAK. M-^, dAAa cry avrds Xeye. 



ALc. Yes. 

soc. And the same man may well persuade one 
person singly, and many together, about things that 
he knows, just as the schoolmaster, I suppose, 
persuades either one or many about letters ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And again, will not the same man persuade 
either one or many about number } 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And this ^v^ll be the man who knows — the 
arithmetician ? 

ALC. Quite so. 

soc. And you too can persuade a single man about 
things of which you can persuade many ? 

ALC. Presumably. 

soc. And these are clearly things that you know. 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And the only difference between the orator 
speaking before the people and one who speaks in 
a conversation like ours is that the former persuades 
men in a number together of the same things, and 
the latter persuades them one at a time ? 

ALC. It looks hke it. 

soc. Come now, since we see that the same man 
may persuade either many or one, try yoiur un- 
practised hand on me, and endeavoiu: to show that 
the just is sometimes not expedient. 

ALC. You are insolent, Socrates ! 

soc. This time, at any rate, I am going to have 
the insolence to persuade you of the opposite of 
that which you decline to prove to me. 

ALC. Speak, then. 

soc. Just answer my questions. 

ALC. No, you yourself must be the speaker. 



2n. Tt 8'; ov-^^ on fidXtara ^ovXei Treiadr^vai ; 

AAK. YiaVTO)? hrjTTOV. 

2n. OvKovv €L XeyoLs OTL ravd^ ovrcjs ^X^^> 
fiaXiar* av etrjs TreTreiafMevos ; 

AAK. "E/xotye SoKet. 

Sn. A.7TOKpivov 8t]' /cat lav fji-q avros oov 
aKovarjs, on ra StVata avix(j)epovTd. icrnv, aXXcp ye 
Xeyovn fMrj TnarevorjS. 

AAK. OvTOL, aXX aTTOKpireov /cat yap ovSev 
OLo/jLai ^Xa^rjcreadai. 
115 2n. Mavrt/co? yap el. /cat /xot Aeye* tcDv 8i/cata»v 
^T^? eVta /xev avp.^ipeiv , eVta 8' ou; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Tt 8€; TO. p,€V KaXa avriov elvai, ra 8' ov; 

AAK. Ilcti? rovTO ipa>Tas ; 

2n. Et Tt? -^'Sr^ CTOt eBo^ev alaxpo. p^ev, 8i/cata 8e 

AAK. OvK e/xotye. 

2n. AAAa Travra Ta 8t/cata /caAa; 

AAK. Nat. 

2fl. Tt 8 ay ra KaXa; TTorepov Trdvra ay add, 
17 ra piev, ra o ov; 

AAK. Otojuat eywye, cS HiJoKpares, evta roii' 
/coAoii' /ca/ca etvat. 

2n. '^H /cat alaxpo, ay add; 

AAK. Nat. 
B 2n. 'Apa Aeyet? ra roidhe, otov ttoXXol iv 
TToXepbcp ^OT]drjaavr€S eratpoj rj ot/ceto) rpavp,ara 
eXa^ov /cat aTredavov, ol 8' ov ^o-qd-qaavres , Seov, 
yytei? aTrrjXdov ; 



soc. What ? Do you not wish above all things 
to be persuaded ? 

ALC. By all means, to be sure. 

soc. And you would best be persuaded if you 
should say " the case is so " ? 

ALC. I agree. 

soc. Then answer ; and if you do not hear your 
own self say that the just is expedient, put no trust 
in the words of anyone again. 

ALC. I will not : but I may as well answer ; for I 
do not think I shall come to any harm. 

soc. You are quite a prophet ! Now tell me, do 
you consider some just things to be expedient, and 
others not ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. 'And again, some noble, and some not ? 

ALC. What do you mean by that question ? 

soc. I would ask whether anyone ever seemed to 
you to be doing what was base and yet just. 

ALC. Never. 

soc. Well, are all just things noble ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And what of noble things, in their turn ? 
Are they all good, or some only, while others are 
not ? 

ALC. In my opinion, Socrates, some noble things 
are evil. 

soc. And some base things are good ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Do you mean as in one of the many cases 
where men have gone to rescue a comrade or kins- 
man in battle, and have been either wounded or 
killed, while those who did not go to the rescue, as 
duty bade, have got off safe and sound ? 



AAK. Udvv fxkv ovv. 
. 2n. OvKovv rrjv roiavrrjv fio-qdeiav KaXrjv /xev 
Xeyeis Kara rrjv i.Tn^^eip'qcrw rov awaai ovs eSei* 
Tovro 8* earlv dvBpela' iq ov; 

AAK. Nai. 

2n. Ka/CTyv 8e ye Kara tovs davdrovs re Kal 
eXKT)' ■^ yd-p; 

AAK. Nai. 
C 2fl. *A/)' ouv ouK oAAo yMei' rj dvBpela, oAAo 8e o 
ddvaros ; 

AAK. Ilai^u ye. 

2fl. Oy/c apa icara rauTov ye ecFTc KaXov /cat 
KaKov TO TOt? (f)LXoLS ^orjdelv ; 

AAK. Oi) (f>aLveTa(,. 

2n. "Opa TOLvvv el, fj ye KaXov, koI dyadov, 
ioarrep /cat evravda- Kara rrjV dvhpeiav yap cofio- 
Xoyeis KaXov elvai r-qv ^orjdeiav' rovr* ovv avro 
OKOTTei, rrjv avSpelav, dyadov •^ KaKov ; tSSe he 
OKOTTeL' TTorep' dv Se'^aio aoi elvai, dyadd •^ KaKd; 

AAK. ^Ayadd. 
D 2n. Ou/cow TO, fjLeyiara fidXiara, Kal -qKiara 
rdJv Toiovrcov he^aio dv arepeadai; 

AAK. licks' yap ov; 

2n. ricu? ovv Xeyeis Tvepl dvhpeia? ; Ittl ttoqio 
av avrov Senate arepeadai; 

AAK. Ovhe l,rjv dv eyoj he^aifiriv SeiAos" OJV. 

2n. ''EcT;)(aTov' dpa KaKcbv elvai aoi SoKei rj 

AAK. "EfMoiye. 

2fl. E^ laov ru) reOvdvai, ujs eoiKev. 

AAK. ^rjfii. 



ALC. Precisely. 

soc. And such a rescue you call noble, in respect of 
the endeavour to save those whom it was one's duty 
to save ; and this is courage, is it not ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. But you call it evil, in respect of the deaths 
and wounds ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And is not the coiirage one thing, and the 
death another ? 

ALC. Certainly. 

soc. Then it is not in the same respect that 
rescuing one's friends is noble and evil ? 

ALC. Apparently not. 

soc. Then see if, inasmuch as it is noble, it is also 
good ; for in the present case you were admitting 
that the rescue was noble in respect of its courage : 
now consider this very thing, courage, and say 
whether it is good or bad. Consider it in this 
way : which would you choose to have, good things 
or evil ? 

ALC. Good. 

soc. And most of all, the greatest goods, and of such 
things you would least allow yourself to be deprived ? 

ALC. To be sure. 

soc. Then what do you say of courage ? At what 
price would you allow yourself to be deprived of it .'' 

ALC. I would give up life itself if I had to be a 

soc. Then you regard cowardice as the uttermost 

ALC. I do. 

soc. On a par with death, it seems. 

ALC. Yes. 



5n. OvKovv ^av'ttTO) re Kal SeiAta evavrioiTarov 
L,oiri Kat avopeia; 

AAK. Nat. 
E Sfl. Kai TCt /xev ixaXiOT* av etvat ^ovXoto aoi, ra 
8e '^Kiara; . 

AAK. Nat. 

2fi. *A/j' oTt TCt ixev aptara rjyij, ra 8e KaKicrra; 

<AAK. rictvu ye. 

2n. 'Ev Tots" apiarois dpa crv rjyfj dvSpelav etrat 
fcdi/ TOtj KaKLdTOis 6dvaTov.>^ 

AAK. "Eycuye. 

2n. To apa ^o-qdelv ev TToXejMCo rots cf>LXoig, fj 
fM€v KaXov, /car' dyadov Trpd^iv ttjv rrjs dvBpeias, 
KaXov avro TTpoaeliTas ; 

AAK. ^aivofxal ye. 

sn. Kara 8e KaKov Trpd^iv rrjv rov Oavdrov 


AAK. Nat. 

2n. Oi)/cow cSSe hiKaiov Trpoaayopeveiv eKaarrjv 
t(Jl)v Trpd^ewv etTre/a 17 KaKov dTTepydt,€rai KaKrjv 
116 /caAei?, Acat ^ dyadov dyadrjv KXr)T€ov. 

AAK. "E/iotye 80/cet. 

2n. 'A/a' oyv Kat fj dyadov, KaXov fj 8e KaKov, 
alaxpov ; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Tt^v dpa ev to; TroAe'/xo) rots' </)tAotS" ^o-qdciav 
XlyoiV KoXrjV p,kv eivat,, KaKtjv 8e', ou8ev Sta^epdv- 
Tcos" Ae'yetj ■^ et Trpoaeiires avrrjv dyadrjv fxev, KaKrjv 

AAK. 'AAt^^tJ /xoi 8o/cetS' Ae'yeiv, to TiuyKpares . 

2n. Oi58ev dpa Td»v /caAdiv, /ca^' do'oi' KaXov, 
^ Trdvv ye . . . OdvaTov Stobaeus : om. siss., Proclus. 


soc. And life and courage are the extreme 
opposites of death and cowardice ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And you would most desire to have the 
former, and least the latter ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Is that because you think the former best, 
and the latter worst ? 

ALC. To be sure. 

soc. So you reckon courage among the best things, 
and death among the worst. 

ALC. I do. 

soc. Then the rescue of one's friends in battle, 
inasmuch as it is noble in respect of the working of 
good by courage, you have termed noble ? 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. But evil, in respect of the working of evil by 
death ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. So we may fairly describe each of these 
workings as follows : as you call either of them evil 
because of the evil it produces, so you must call it 
good because of the good it produces. 

ALC. I beheve that is so. 

soc. And again, are they noble inasmuch as they 
are good, and base inasmuch as they are evil ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Then in saying that the rescue of one's 
friends in battle is noble and yet evil, you mean 
just the same as if you called the rescue good, but 

ALC. I believe what you say is true, Socrates. 

soc. So nothing noble, in so far as it is noble, is 

VOL. viii L 145 


KCLKov, ovhe Tcov alcrxpi^v, KaO^ oaov alaxpov, 
B AAK. Ov <f)aLV€raL. 

2n. "En roivvv koX c58e aKeif/ai. oar is KaXcbs 
TTpdmet, ov-)(i /cat ev irpdrTei; 

AAK. Nat. 

2X1. Ot 8' ev TTpdrrovres ovk cvSalfioves ; 

AAK. Hojs yap ov; 

2n. OvKovv evdaiiMOves St' dyadcov KTrjauv; 

AAK. MaAtara. 

2n. Krojvrai, 8e ravra to) ev /cat /caAws" Trpdrreiv; 

AAK. Nat. 

2fl. To ed dpa Trpdrreiv dyadov; 

AAK. YlcJs 8' ov; 

2n. Oy/cow KaAoj' r] einrpayia; 

AAK. Nat. 
C 2n. TauTov a/9a icf)dvrj r^plv irdXiv av KaXov re 
KOI dyadov. 

AAK. OatVerat. 

2n. "On dv dpa evpco/jiev KaXov, /cat dya^oi' 
evprjaop,ev e/c ye rovrov rod \6yov. 

AAK. 'Avay/cr;. 

2n. Tt Se; to. dya^a avfx^epei r^ ov; 

AAK. TiVfJi<f)ep€l. 

2n. MvTy/Aoveueis" ow vrept rcDt' SiKaicov ttws d)fJio- 
Xoy-qaafxev ; 

AAK. Ot/xat ye tows' to. 8i/cata Trpdrrovras dvay- 
KaZov elvai /caAd Trpdrreiv. 

2n. Oj3/cow /cat TOi)s" TO, /caAd dyadd; 

AAK. Nat. 
D 2Jl. Td 8e dya^d avfKJiepeiv; 




evil, and nothing base, in so far as it is base, is 

ALC. Apparently. 

see. Now then, consider it again in this way : 
whoever does nobly, does well too, does he not ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And are not those who do well happy ? 

ALC. Of course. 

soc. And they are happy because of the acquisition 
of good things ? 

ALC. Certainly. 

soc. And they acquire these by doing well and 
nobly ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. So doing well is good ? 

ALC. Of course. 

soc. And welfare is noble ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Hence we have seen again that noble and 
good are the same thing. 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. Then whatever we find to be noble we shall 
find also to be good, by this argument at least. 

ALC. We must. 

soc. Well then, are good things expedient or not ? 

ALC. Expedient. 

soc. And do you remember what our admissions 
were about just things ? 

ALC. I think we said that those who do just things 
must do noble things. 

soc. And that those who do noble things must do 
good things ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And that good things are expedient ? 



AAK. Nat. 

2n. To. hcKaia dpa, c5 'AA/cijStaSrj, GViM(f)€povTd 
iariv . 

AAK. "Eoi/cev. 

2n. Tt ovv; ravra ov av 6 Xiycov, iyoj 8e o 
iparrcov ; 

AAK. OatVojLtat, CO? eoLKa. 

2n. Et ow Ti? dvicrrar at crvfM^ovXevacov elre 
' AdrjvatoLg etre HeTrapiqdiois, olofievos yiyvuyoKeiv 
rd hiKaia /cat rd aSt/ca, (f>rjcr€L 8' eti^ai to. 8t/cata 
Ka/ca ivLOT€, aAAo rt -^ KarayeXwrjs dv avrov, 
e7T€ihr]TT€p rvyxdvets koL av Xdyojv ort raura eort 
E 8i/caia T€ /cat avpi^epovra; 

AAK. 'AAAd /xa rot)? deovs, d) ^(vKpares, ovk 
otSa eyoiye oi58' o rt Aeyco, aAA' arep^t'ctis" eot/ca 
dTOTrcD? exovrt. rore fiev ydp /iot ere pa 8o/cet croy 
ipajTOJvrog , rore Se ctAAa. 

2n. Eira tovto, w <^tAe, dyvoets' to Trddrjfxa tl 
iariv ; 

AAK. ndvu ye. 

2fl. Otet dv ovv, et Tt? ipcorcpr] ae, hvo 6(f)6aX- 
fjbovs rj rpeXs ^X^''^> '^^^ ^^° X^^P^^ 1 rerrapas, 7] 
dXXo Tl r(x>v ToiovroiV, rore fxev erep dv airo- 
KpivaaBai, rore 8e dAAa, r] aei Ta avra; 
117 AAK. Ae'SotKa pbev eycjye rjBr] Trepl ifxavrov, 
olfMai fxevroL rd avra. 

2n. OvKovv on olcrda; rovr a'iriov ; 

AAK. Ot/xat eyoyye. 

2ri. riepi wv dpa dKWV rdvavria dTTOKpivrj, hrjXov 
OTi TTepl rovr ojv ovk olada. 

AAK. Et/co? ye. 

2n. Oi)/coyv Acat Trept rdJv hiKaiwv /cat dSt/ccav 


ALc. Yes. 

soc. Hence just things, Alcibiades, are expedient. 

ALC. So it seems, 

soc. Well now, are not you the speaker of all this, 
and I the questioner ? 

ALC. I seem to be, apparently. 

soc. So if anyone stands up to ad\ise either the 
Athenians or the Peparethians,^ imagining that he 
understands what is just and unjust, and says that 
just things are sometimes e\il, could you do other 
than laugh him to scorn, since you actually say 
yourself that just and expedient are the same ? 

ALC. But by Heaven, Socrates, I do not even know 
what I am saying, I feel altogether in such a strange 
state ! For from moment to moment I change my 
\iew under your questioning. 

soc. And are you unaware, my friend, what this 
feeling is ? 

ALC. I am, quite. 

soc. Well, do you suppose that if someone should 
ask you whether you have two eyes or three, two 
hands or four, or anything else of that sort, you 
would answer differently from moment to moment, 
or always the same thing ? 

ALC. I begin to have misgiWngs about myself, but 
still I think I should make the same answer. 

soc. And the reason would be, because you know ? 

ALC. I think so. 

soc. Then if you involuntarily give contradictory 
answers, clearly it must be about things of which 
you are ignorant. 

ALC. Very likely. 

soc. And you say you are bevrildered in answering 

^ Peparethus is a small island off the coast of Thessaly. 



Kol KaXoiv /cat ala-)(p<^v koI KaKcJv /cat dyadoJv /cat 
avfji(f>€p6vTa)V /cat jjutj OLTTOKpivofievos (f)f)s TrXavdadai; 
elra ov St^Aov ort 8ta ro firj etSeVai TTepl avrcuv, 
Sid ravra TrXavd; 
B AAK. "EipLotye. 

2fi. ^A/j' ow ovTco /cat e;^ef cTretSai^ ti? rt /x.7^ 
etS^, d.vay/catop' 7re/)t rovrov TrXavdadac ttjv tf/vx'^vi 

AAK. HaJs ydp ov; 

2n. Tt ovv ; olada ovriva rpoTTOv dva^ijar] els 
TOP ovpavov; 

AAK. Met At" ovK eycoye. 

5n. *H /cat TrAavarat aov r) So^a Ttepl ravra; 

AAK. Ov Srjra. 

5n. To 8' atrtov olada t] iyw <j)pdao); 

AAK. Opacrov'. 

2n. "Ort, cu ^t'Ae, ot5/c otei avro emcrraa^ai oi)/c 
C AAK. ria)? au rovro Xeyeis; 

Sfi. "Opa /cat CTU KOLvfj. d fxr] eTTLaraaai, yiyvw- 
a/cetj Se ort oy/c irricrraaai, TrXavd irepl rd roiavra; 
waTT€p vepl oiffov OKcvaaias olada St^ttou on ovk 

AAK. Ilavu ye. 

Sn. noTe/aor ow atJro? Trepl ravra So^d^eis, 
07TC0S XPV CTKevd^eLV, /cat TrAava, rj ra> eTriarapievip 

i7TLrp€7T€LS ; 

AAK. Ovrws. 

to €L €V vrji TTAeoig, apa do^aL,oi,g av 
D TTorepov xp'^ '^o^' oia/ca eiaco dyeiv rj e^co, /cat are 

^ The " tiller " was the handle of an oar at the side of the 
stern, and was moved towards or away from the centre of 
the ship. 



about just and unjust, noble and base, e\-il and good, 
expedient and inexpedient ? Now, is it not obvious 
that your bewilderment is caused by your ignorance 
of these things r 

ALc. I agree. 

soc. Then is it the case that when a man does not 
know a thing he must needs be be\sildered in spirit 
regarding that thing ? 

ALC. Yes, of course. 

soc. Well now, do you know in what way you can 
ascend to heaven ? 

ALc. On my word, not I. 

soc. Is that too a kind of question about which 
your judgement is bewildered ? 

ALc. No, indeed. 

soc. Do you know the reason, or shall I state it ? 

ALC. State it. 

soc. It is, my friend, that while not knowing the 
matter you do not suppose that you know it. 

ALC. Here again, how do you mean ? 

soc. Do your share, in seeing for yourself. Are 
you bewildered about the kind of thing that you do 
not know and are aware of not knowing ? For 
instance, you know, I suppose, that you do not know 
about the preparation of a tasty dish ? 

ALC. Quite so. 

soc. Then do you think for yourself how you are 
to prepare it, and get bev\ildered, or do you entrust 
it to the person who knows ? 

ALC. I do the latter. 

soc. And what if you should be on a ship at sea ? 
Would you think whether the tiller should be moved 
inwards or outwards/ and in your ignorance bewilder 



OVK elhois TrXavcoo dv, rj rco KV^epv-qr-r] iTnrpeiJjas 
av Tjdvxi'O.v dyo IS ; 

AAK. To) KV^epvqrrj. 

2n. OvK dpa TTepl d jjurj olcrda TrAat'a, dvnep 
elSfjs on OVK olada; 

AAK. OvK eoLKa. 

2n. lEiVvoels ovv, on Kal rd dp.apr'^fMara iv rfj 
TTpd^ei Sid ravrrjv rrjv dyvoidv icrn, rrjv rod p,rj 
etSdra o'leadai elhevai; 

AAK. Oois" av Xiyeis rovro; 

5n. Tore ttov eTTLxeLpovfiev Trpdrreiv, orav olcv- 
)Lte^a etSeVai o n Trpdrropiev ; 
E AAK. Nat. 

2n. "Orav Se ye ttov nves p-rj o'icovrai elhevai, 
ctAAots" TTapaStSoacriv ; 

AAK. rials' 8' ov; 

2n. Ou/cow ot roLovroi tcov p,rj elSorcov dvap^ap- 
TTjToi ^cDcri 8ta TO dXXoLS TTepl avrd)v eTnTpeTrecv ; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. TtW? ow ot dp^aprdvovres ; ov ydp ttov ol 
ye etSores". 

AAK. Ov Sfjra. 

2n. 'ETTetSi^ 8e ou^' ot etSore? ovd^ ol twv p,rj 
118 elSoTOJV elSores on ovk laacTLV, rj ctAAot AetTrorrat t] 
ol p.Tj elSores, ol6p,evoi S' elhevai; 

AAK. Ovk, dAAa o^rot. 

2n. Avrr] dpa rj dyvoia tcov KaKcov atrta /cat ?^ 
iTTOveiSiOTog dp,a9ia; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Oy/cow oTttP' 17 TTepi rd p,eyiara, rore 
KaKovpyordrr] /cat aton^t'or?^ ; 

AAK. IloAu ye. 


yourself, or would you entrust it to the helmsman, 
and be quiet ? 

ALc. I would leave it to him. 

soc. So you are not bewildered about what you do 
not know, so long as you know that you do not know ? 

ALC. It seems I am not. 

soc. Then do you note that mistakes in action 
also are due to this ignorance of thinking one knows 
when one does not ? 

ALC. Here again, how do you mean ? 

soc. We set about acting, I suppose, when we think 
we know what we are doing ? 

ALC Yes. 

soc. But when people think they do not know, I 
suppose they hand it over to others ? 

ALC To be sure. 

soc. And so that kind of ignorant person makes no 
mistakes in life, because they entrust such matters 
to others ? 

ALC Yes. 

soc Who then are those who make mistakes ? 
For, I take it, they cannot be those who know. 

ALC No, indeed. 

soc. But since it is neither those who know, nor 
those of the ignorant who know that they do not 
know, the only people left, I think, are those who 
do not know, but think that they do ? 

ALC. Yes, only those. 

soc. Then this ignorance is a cause of e\ils, and 
is the discreditable sort of stupidity ? 

ALC Yes. 

soc. And when it is about the greatest matters, 
it is most injurious and base ? 

ALC. By far. 



2X1. Tt ovv; e;^ets jxeL^co elTrelv StKalcov re Kal 
KaXcbv Kal dyadoJv Kal avix<f>ep6vTcov ; 
AAK. Ou S^Ttt. 

2n. OvKovv TTcpl ravra av (f>7js TrXavdadat; 

AAK. Nai. 

2n. El Se TrXava, ap' oi) StJAov e/c rcov e^nrpoadev 
B oTi ou fiovov dyvoels rd fMeyiara, aAAct Kal ovk 
etocu? otei awra eioevai; 

AAK. KtvSuveuo). 

2fl. BajSai apa, a> 'AA/ctjStaSr^, ofop' trddos ttcttov- 
6as' o iyo) 6vofMdl,€LV p.ev okvu), ofMcos Be, eTreihrj 
fjLovw eafiev, prjreov. dfxadta yap avvoiKels, cS 
^eXnare, rfj eaxdrrj, cos 6 Xoyos oov Karr^yopeZ Kal 
av aavrov' Sio /cat arreis dpa irpos rd iroXtriKd 
irpiv TTaihevdrjvai. ireTTovdas Se rovro ov <jv /jlovos, 
dXXd Kal ol TToXXol Tcov TTparrovrwv rd rrjaSe rijs 
C 'TToXecos, ttXtjv oXiyoiv ye Kal tcrcos rov aov eTnrpoTTov 
YiepiKXeovs . 

AAK. Aeyerai ye roi, c5 YicoKpares, ovk utto 
rov avrofidrov ao<j)6s yeyovevai, aXXd ttoXXoXs Kal 
ao<f)OLS avyyeyovevai, Kal HvdoKXeiSTj Kal 'Ava^- 
ayopa- Kal vvv en rriXiKovros (x>v AdfiajvL avveariv 
avrov rovrov eveKa. 

2n. Tt ovv; 7]Br) rivd elBes ao(f)6v onovv dhvva- 
rovvra TTOtrjaai, dXXov ao(f>6v dnep avros ; uyoTrep 
OS ere eStSa^e ypdfipbara, avros re rfv ao(f)6s Kal ae 
eTTOiTjae roiv re dXXcov ovrtva i^ovXero' rj yap; 

AAK. Nat. 

^ A musician of Ceos (who was perhaps also a Pythagorean 
philosopher) who taught in Athens. 

* An Ionian philosopher who lived in Athens c. 480- 
430 B.C. 

* An Athenian musician and sophist. 



soc. Well then, can you mention any greater 
things than the just, the noble, the good, and the 
expedient ? 

ALc. No, indeed. 

soc. And it is about these, you say, that you are 
bewildered ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. But if you are bewildered, is it not clear from 
what has gone before that you are not only ignorant 
of the greatest things, but while not knowing them 
you think that you do ? 

ALC. I am afraid so. 

soc. Alack then, Alcibiades, for the plight you 
are in ! I shrink indeed from gi\ing it a name, but 
still, as we are alone, let me speak out. You are 
wedded to stupidity, my fine friend, of the \ilest 
kind ; you are impeached of this by your own words, 
out of your o^\-n mouth ; and this, it seems, is why 
you dash into poUtics before you have been educated. 
And^you are TtotraloTrc'ln" this phght, but you share it 
with most of those who manage our city's affairs, ex- 
cept just a few, and perhaps your guardian, Pericles. 

ALC. Yes, you know, Socrates, they say he did not 
get his wisdom independently, but consorted with 
many wise men, such as Pythocleides ^ and Anax- 
agoras ^ ; and now, old as he is, Re still confers with 
Damon ^ for that very purpose. 

soc. Well, but did you ever find a man who was 
wise in anything and yet unable to make another 
man wise in the same things as himself ? For 
instance, the man who taught you letters was wise 
himself, and also made you wise, and anyone else he 
wished to, did he not ? 

ALC Yes. 



D 2n. OvKovv Kal crv 6 Trap" eKeivov jxadcov dXXov 
otos re €07]; 

AAK. Nai. 

2fl. Kai o Kidapiarrjs 8e /cat o 7Taihorpi§r]s 
(haavrojs ; 

AAK. Yidvv ye. 

2n. KoAov yap hrjirov reKfMrjpiov rovro rwv 
eTnarafieviov onovv on iTTLaravrai, eTTeihdv Kal 
dXXov oloi T€ cbacv (XTroSet^at iTncrrajjievov . 

AAK. "E/iotye SoKel. 

2a. Ti ovv; ex^i-s elTreZv, Hepi/cAT^? riva eTToi-qcje 
ao(f)6v, (XTTo rcov vlecov dp^djxevos ; 
E AAK. Tt 8', et Ta> riepiKAeous' vUe rjXiOLOi 
iyeveadrjv, c5 TtcoKpares; 

2n. AAAa KAeivtav rov croi/ aSeA^di/. 

AAK. Ti S' av av KXeLviav Aeyot?, fjuaivofievov 
dvdpcoTTOv ; 

2n. 'ETretSi^ roivvv KAetvt'a? /xev p,aiverai, rco 3e 
riepi/cAeoi;? ute'e ■qXcdlco iyeveadrjv, aol riva alriav 
dvaddj/juev, 8t' o rt ere ovrcos e^ovra Trepiopa; 

AAK, 'Eyo6,, a'irios ov Trpocrexojv rov vovv. 
119 2n. 'AAAd rcov dXXojv ^Ad-qvaicov t] rwv ^evcov 
SovXov r) eXevdepov eiTre, oans alriav e;^et 8ta tt^i' 
Ilepi/cAeou? avvovcriav ao^uyrepog yeyovevai, warrep 
iyd) e^o) aoL eiTrelv Sid rrjv Zj'qvcovog Ylvdohcopov 
rov ^laoXoxov Kal KaAAtW rov KaAAtaSou, Sv 
eKdrepos 'Lrjvojvi CKarov ixvds reXeaas aocjyog re 
Kai eXXoyipLOs yeyovev. 

^ A friend of Zeno : cf. Parmen. 126. 

* An Athenian general. 

' Of Elea, in S. Italj' ; a disciple of Parmenides who 
criticized the Pythagorean teaching. 


soc. And you too, who learnt from him, will be 
able to make another man wise ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And the same holds of the harper and the 
trainer ? 

ALC. Certainly. 

soc. For, I presume, it is a fine proof of one's 
kno\\ing an}-1:hing that one knows, when one is able 
to point to another man whom one has made to 
know it. 

ALC. I agree. 

soc. Well then, can you tell me whom Pericles 
made wise ? One of his sons, to begin with ? 

ALC. But what if the two sons of Pericles were 
simpletons, Socrates .'' 

soc. Well, Cleinias, your brother. 

ALC. But why should you mention Cleim'as, a 
madman ? 

soc. Well, if Cleinias is mad and the two sons of 
Pericles were simpletons, what reason are we to 
assign, in your case, for his allowing you to be in 
your present condition ? 

ALC. I believe I am myself to blame for not 
attending to him. 

soc. But tell me of any other Athenian or foreigner, 
slave or freeman, who is accounted to have become 
wiser through converse with Pericles ; as I can tell 
you that Pythodorus ^ son of Isolochus, and Callias,^ 
son of Calliades, became through that of Zeno ^ ; each 
of them has paid Zeno a hundred minae,* and has 
become both wise and distinguished. 

* About £600-£800, or the total expenses of two or three 
years at an English University. 



AAK. 'AAAo. fxa At" ovK exo). 

2n. Eter' tl ovv Btavofj Trepl aavrov; TTorepov 
idv cu? vvv €X€is, t} iTTLfMeXeidv riva TTOieladai; 
B AAK, i^OLvfj ^ovX-q, (5 HcoKpares, KalroL ewooj 
GOV eLTTOvros /cat avyxoipcj . hoKovai yap /xot ol ra 
TTJs TroAecu? Trpdrrovres e/cros oXiyojv (XTratSeurot 

2n. Efra rt 817 rovro; 

AAK. El /Aev TTOV rjaav TTeTTaihevpiivoi, ISet av rov 
eTTLxeipovvTa avrois dvTaycovl^eadaL [xadovra /cat 
daK-qaavra levai chs ctt' dOXrjrds' vvv 8' eTTctSr] /cat 
ovTOL lSlcotlkojs e^ovTes iX'qXvOaariv inl rd ttjs 
TToXecos, TL Set dcr/cetv /cat jxavOdvovTa TTpdyfiar^ 
C ^x^iv ; eyoj yap ev olSa on rovrcov rfj ye ^uaet 
Trdvv TToXi) TTepieaofiaL. 

5fl. Ba^at, otov, cS dpiare, rovr* elprjKas' c6? 
dvd^tov rrjs ISeas /cat rcDr aAAcov tcDi' aot utt- 
apxdvTa>v . 

AAK. Tt iidXiara /cat Trpo? Tt tovto Xeyeis, c5 

2n. 'Ayava/CTcD U77€/3 re aov /cat tou eyu,ou 
epcoTos . 

AAK. Tt 877; 

2n. Et rj^Lcoaas rov dyoJvd aot etvai irpos rovs 
ivOdSe dvdpcoTTOvs. 

AAK. 'AAAa TTpos TLvas fir/v; 

2fl. "A^iov TOVTO ye Kal epiadai dvhpa olojxevov 
IJ,€yaX6(f)pova etvat,. 
D AAK. rictj? Xiyeig; ov irpos tovtovs puoi 6 dycLv; 

2n. 'AAAa Kav et rpn^prj Slcvoov Kv^epvdv 
fxiXXovaav vavfxaxetv, TJpKec av aoi tojv avvvavTcov 




ALC. Well, upon my word, I cannot. 

soc. Ver}'^ good : then what is your intention 
regarding yourself? Will you remain as you are, 
or take some trouble ? 

ALC. We must put our heads together, Socrates. 
And indeed, as soon as you speak, I take the point 
and agree. For the men who manage the city's 
affairs, apart from a few, do strike me as uneducated. 

soc. Then what does that mean ? 

ALC. That if they were educated, I suppose anyone 
who undertook to contend against them would have 
to get some knowledge and practice first, as he would 
for a match with athletes : but now, seeing that 
these men have gone in for pohtics as amatem^, 
what need is there for me to practise and have the 
trouble of learning ? For I am sure that my natural 
powers alone will give me an easy victory over them. 

soc. Ho, ho, my good sir, what a thing to say ! 
How unworthy of your looks and your other 
advantages ! 

ALC. WTiat is your meaning now, Socrates ? What 
is the connexion .'' 

soc. I am grieved for you, and for my love. 

ALC. WTiy, pray .'' 

soc. That you should expect your contest to be 
with the men we have here. 

ALC. W^ell, but with whom is it to be ? 

soc. Is that a worthy question to be asked by a 
man who considers himself high-spirited ? 

ALC. How do you mean ? Is not my contest with 
these men } 

soc. Well, suppose you were intending to steer a 
warship into action, would you be content to be the 
best hand among the crew at steering or, while 



^eXriaTco elvai ra Kv^epvrjrLKo., 7} ravra jxkv coov 
av o€iv VTrapxciv, aTre'jSAeTres' S' av els rovs tbs 
aXrjdoJs avrayoiVLards , aAA' ovx tt>S" vvv els rovs 
avvaycov Lards ; &v h-qTTOv vepiyeveadai ae Set 
ToaovTOV, (Sore firj d^iovv dvraycovl^eadaL, dXXd 
E KaTa(f)pov7j6evTas avvayatvit^eadai aoi irpos rovs 
TToAefiiovs, el Sr) rep ovri ye koXov ri epyov (XTro- 
hei^aadai hiavofj /cat a^tov aavrov re Koi rfjs 
TToXecDS • 

AAK. AAAd fiev Srj 8i,avoovp.aL ye. 

2n. riavy aoi dpa d^Lov dyandv, el rcov arparux)- 
rGiv ^eXrlcov el, dAA' ov rrpds rovs rdJv dvrnrdXojv 
rjyejjiovas dTTO^Xerreiv , ei TTore^ eKeivcov ^eXrlcov 
yevoio, GKOTTovvra Kal doKovvra TTpos eKeivovs. 
120 AAK. AeyeLs 8e rivas rovrovs, cb HicliKpares ; 

2n. OvK olada rjiJiwv r-qv ttoXlv AaKedaip^ovLOis 
re Kat, rtp /xeyaXw ^aaiXel TToXep,ovaav eKdarore ; 

AAK. *AXrj6rj Xeyeis- 

2n. OvKovv etTTep ev va> ex^is rjyep^ojv elvai 
rfjarSe rrjs TtoXecos, Trpos rovs AaKeSaifiovicov 
^aaiXels Kal rovs Ilepacov rov dycbva rjyovp^evos 
aoL elvai opdibs dv rjyolo; 

AAK. J^ivSwevets dXrjdrj XeyeLV. 

2n. OvK, c5 ^yade, dXXd Trpos MetStav ae Set rov 
B oprvyoKOTTov 0,770 jSAeTretv /cat dXXovs roLovrovs ot 
ra rrjs TToXecos irpdrreiv emxeipovaLV, en rrjv 
dvSpa7Tohcx>8r] , (j)aZev dv at yvvalKes, ^P^X^ exovres 
ev rfj i/jvxfj utt' dp^ovaias /cat ovnoj drro^e^Xr]- 
Kores, en he ^ap§apit,ovres eXrjXvdaai KoXaKev- 

^ d TTore Burnet : bivoTe mss. 



regarding this skill as a necessary qualification, 
would you keep your eye on your actual opponents 
in the fight, and not, as now, on your fellow-fighters ? 
These, I conceive, you ought so far to surpass that they 
would not feel fit to be your opponents, but only to be 
your despised fellow-fighters against the enemy, if you 
mean really to make your mark with some noble action 
that will be worthy both of yourself and of the city. 

ALc. Why, I do mean to. 

soc. So you think it quite fitting for you to be 
satisfied if you are better than the soldiers, but neglect 
to keep your eye on the enemy's leaders with a view 
to sho^\•ing yourself better than they are, or to plan 
and practise against them ! 

ALC. Of whom are you speaking now, Socrates ? 

soc. Do you not know that our city makes war 
occasionally on the Spartans and on the Great King ? 

ALC. That is true. 

soc. And if you are minded to be the head of our 
state, you would be right in tliinking that your con- 
test is with the kings of Sparta arid of Persia ? 

ALC. That sounds like the truth. 

soc. No, my good friend ; you ought rather to 
keep your eye on Meidias the quail-filhper ^ and 
others of his sort — who undertake to manage the 
city's affairs, while they still have the slavish hair^ 
(as the women would say) sho"wing in their minds 
through their lack of culture, and have not yet got 
rid of it ; who, moreover, have come with their out- 

^ Meidias is mentioned by Aristophanes [Av. 1297) for 
his skill in the game of filliping quails which were specially 
trained not to flinch. 

* Slaves in Athens were largely natives of western Asia, 
and had thick, close hair, very different from the wavy locks 
of the Greeks. 

VOL. vin M 161 


aovres rrjv ttoXiv, oAA' ovk ap^ovres — npos tovtovs 
<7€ Set, ova-nep Xeyco, ^XeTTOvra aavrov Srj d/xcXelv, 
/cat /XTjre p^avdaveiv oaa fjbaOrjaeojs ex^rai, [xeX- 
Xovra roaovrov aycbva aya>vil,eadaL, fiijre daKelv 
C oaa Setrat daKijaeoJS , Kal irdaav irapaaKev-qv irap- 
eaK€vacjfji€vov ovra>s levai irrl rd rrjs TToXecos. 

AAK. 'AAA', CO TiCOKpares, So/cets' [xev p,OL dX-qdrj 
Ae'yetv, fievroi rovs re AaKeSaL/xovLCov 
arpaTTjyovs Kal tov Yiepaojv ^aatXea ovhev 8ta- 
(jiipeLV TOiv dXXcov. 

2n. 'AAA', tS dpiOTe, Tr]v o'irjoiv ravT7]v aKOTrec 
otav exei?. 

AAK. Tov TTepi; 

2n. YlpCorov [xev TTorepcDS dv otet aavrov fj,dXXov 
D eTTLjJieXTjdrjvai, (f)o^ovfji,€v6s re /cat ol6p,€Vos hetvovs 
avrovs elvai, t] pi-q; 

AAK. ArjXov on, el Beivovs oloiprjv. 

2fl. McDv ovv otet Tt pXa^iqaeadai eTnpLeXrjQels 

AAK. Oj)Sa)LtCL»s', dAAa /cat p.eydXa ovqaeaOai. 

2n. OvKovv €V p,€V rovro roaovrov /ca/coj/ e;)(et 
'q o'iiqaLS avrrj. 

AAK. ^KX-qdr] XiycLS. 

Sn. To hevrepov roivvv, on /cat ipevhris eanv, ck 
rGiV eiKorwv aKeifiaL. 

AAK. Hcbs h-q; 

2n. noTepoi' et/co? dp,etvovs yiyveadai <j>va€is ev 
Yiy^vvaiois yeveauv r] p.rj; 

AAK. ArjXov on iv rols yevvaiots. 

2n. OvKovv rovs ev (f)vvras, idv /cat ev rpa(f)a>aiv , 
ovTOj reXeovs yiyveadai irpos dperrjv ; 



landish speech to flatter the state, not to rule it — to 
these, I tell you, should your eyes be turned ; and 
then you can disregard yourself, and need neither 
learn what is to be learnt for the great contest in 
which you are to be engaged, nor practise what 
requires practice, and so ensure that you are perfectly 
prepared before entering upon a political career. 

ALC. Why, Socrates, I believe you are right ; 
though I think neither the Spartan generals nor the 
Persian king are at all different from other people. 

soc. But, my excellent friend, consider what this 
notion of yours means. 

ALC. In regard to what ? 

soc. First of all, do you think you would take more 
pains over yourself if you feared them and thought 
them terrible, or if you did not ? 

ALC. Clearly, if I thought them terrible. 

soc. And do you think you will come to any harm 
by taking pains over yourself ? 

ALC. By no means ; rather that I shall get much 

soc. And on this single count that notion ^ of yours 
is so much to the bad. 

ALC. True. 

soc. Then, in the second place, observe the proba- 
bility that it is false. 

ALC. How so ? 

soc. Is it probable that noble races should produce 
better natures, or not ? 

ALC. Clearly, noble races would. 

soc. And will not the well-born, provided they are 
well brought up, probably be perfected in virtue ? 

* i.e. about the Spartan generals and the Persian king, 
120 c. 



AAK. ^AvdyKrj. 

2n. ^KeifjMfJbeda Srj, rots' eKeivcjov ra rj/jiercpa 
avTLTidevres , Trpcorov fxev el Sokovctl (f)avXor€p(x>v 
yevcjv etvai ol AaKcSacfioviajv /cat Ylepawv ^acri- 
Aei?. ^ ovK "afxev cos ol jxev 'H/oa/cAeous', ol 8e 
A)(^a.ip.€vovs cK-yovoL, ro 8' 'H/oa/cAeou? re yevos 
/cat TO ' A)(aiiJievovs els Ylepaea tov Alos ava^epeTai; 
121 AAK. Kat yap ro rjfxerepov, d> HojKpares, els 
ISivpvaaKr) , ro 8' KvpvGOLKOvs els Ata. 

211. Kat yap ro rjfierepov, a> yevvale 'AA/ct- 
PLaBrj, els AalSaXov, 6 Se AatSaAoj els "ll(f)aLarov 
rov Alos. aAAa ra fxev rovruiv oltt avra>v dp^dfieva 
^aaiXels elalv e/c ^aatXecov p-^XP^ Atos, ol p,ev 
"Apyovs re /cat Aa/ceSat/zovo?, oi Se rrjs YlepalSos 
TO aet, TToXXaKLS Se /cat rrjs Acnas, (Larrep /cat 
vvv rjpiels Be avroi re IhicbraL /cat ot rrarepes. el 
B 8e /cat rovs irpoyovovs 8eot /cat rr]v Trarplha 
^vpvaaKovs emSet^at SaAa/itv'a ^ rrjv AlaKov 
rov en Trporepov Atyti^av ^ Apro^ep^rj rw aep^ov, 
TToaov dv otet yeXcora 6<j)Xelv ; dXX opa p,rj rov 
re yevovs oyKcp eAarrca/xe^a rojv dvSpojv /cat rfj 
dXXr) rpo(f)fj. ^ OVK jjad-qcraL rols re Aa/ce8at- 
fiovlojv ^aaiXevcTLV d)s p.eydXa rd vrrdp^ovra, wv 
at yvvaiKes hrjfJiOGLa (f)vXarrovrai vtto rdJv e(f)opcov, 
OTTios els 8wa/>ttv p,rj Xddrj e^ dXXov yevop,evos o 
C ^acTiXevs 7] e^ 'UpaKXeiSdJv; 6 8e Tiepacbv ro- 
aovrov VTrep^dXXei, ware ou8ei9 vrro^lav e;)^et chs 
e^ dXXov dv ^auiXevs yevovro rj e$ avrov- 8t6 ov 
(jjpovpelrat rj ^acnXeoJS yvvr) dAA' rj vtto (f)6^ov. 

^ Socrates' father, Sophroniscus, was a sculptor, and 
Daedalus was the legendary inventor of sculpture. 
2 i.e., the kings of Sparta and Persia. 



ALC. That must be so. 

soc. Then let us consider, by comparing our lot 
with theirs, whether the Spartan and Persian kings 
appear to be of inferior birth. Do we not know that 
the former are descendants of Hercules and the latter 
of Achaemenes, and that the Une of Hercules and 
the line of Achaemenes go back to Perseus, son of 

ALC. Yes, and mine, Socrates, to Eurysaces, and 
that of Eurysaces to Zeus ! 

soc. Yes, and mine, noble Alcibiades, to Daedalus,^ 
and Daedalus to Hephaestus, son of Zeus ! But take 
the lines of those people,"^ going back from them : you 
have a succession of kings reaching to Zeus — on the 
one hand, kings of Argos and Sparta ; on the other, of 
Persia, which they have always ruled, and frequently 
Asia also, as at present ; whereas we are private 
persons ourselves, and so were our fathers. And 
then, suppose that you had to make what show you 
could of your ancestors, and of Salamis as the native 
land of Eurysaces, or of Aegina as the home of the 
yet earlier Aeacus, to impress Artaxerxes, son of 
Xerxes, how you must expect to be laughed at ! 
Why, I am afraid we are quite outdone by those 
persons in pride of birth and upbringing altogether. 
Or have you not observed how great are the advan- 
tages of the Spartan kings, and how their wives are 
kept under statutory ward of the ephors, in order 
that every possible precaution may be taken against 
the king being born of any but the Heracleidae ? 
And the Persian king so far surpasses us that no one 
has a suspicion that he could have been born of any- 
body but the king before him ; and hence the king's 
wife has nothing to guard her except fear. When 



eTTCiBav 8e yivrjrai 6 ttois 6 irpea^vraros, ovTrep 
7] o-px''^) TTpctJTOV fxev eopra.t,ovai Travreg ol ev rfj 
^acriXecos, cov dv oipxj], eira et? rov aAAov xpovov 
ravTTj rfj 'qfiepa jSacrtAecos' yevedXia irdaa dvei 
Kai ioprdt,ei rj 'Acta* rjucov 8e yevop,iviov, ro rov 

D KcofiivSoTTOLOv, ovS* OL yeiToves (j(f)68pa tl al- 
addvovrai, cL ^AXKL^idS-q. fxerd rovro rpe<j)eraL 
6 TTOis, ovx VTTo yvvaLKos rpo<jiov oXiyov d^lag, 
dAA' utt' evvovxcov ot dv SoKcocri rdJv nepl ^aaiXea 
dptcTTOL elvaL- ols rd re dXXa TrpoareraKrai iin- 
jxeXccrdat, rov yevofievov , Kai orrws KdXXiaros karai 
[jirjxo.vda9ai, dvanXdrrovrag rd fxiXn) rod TratSo? 
Kai Karopdovvras' Kai ravra SpdJvres €V [xeydXrj 

E ri/jirj elaiv. eTTeihdv he errrereis yevcovrai ol Tral- 
8e?, 6771 rovs L7T7TOVS Kai €771 rovs rovroyv 8t8a- 
OKdXovs (f)OLrcx)ai, Kai gttI rds drjpas dp^ovr ai levai- 
his errrd he yevojjLevov^ ercov rov 77ar8a irapa- 
Xa^fM^dvovaiv ovs €K€ivol ^aaiXeiovs Traihayajyovs 
6vofjidl,ov(nv elcrl he e^eiXeypievoi Ylepocjv ot 
dpiaroL ho^avres ev rjXiKla r err apes, o re aocfxi)- 
raros Kai 6 hcKaioraros Kai 6 aiO(f>poveararos 
122 Kai 6 dvhpeioraros. (Lv 6 p,ev pbayetav re 8t- 
SacTAcet r7]v Z^ujpodarpov rov 'Q,pop,dt,ov' ecrri, he 
rovro decbv deparreia' hthdoKei he /cat to. ^aaiXiKa' 
6 he hiKaLoraros dXrjdevetv hid Travrds rod ^iov 
6 he aco(l)povearraros P''^h^ vtto fxids dpx^crdo.1- Tchv 
■f]hovd)v, Iva eXevOepos elvai edl^rjrat Kai ovrojs 
^aaiXevs, dpxojv Trpcorov rcbv ev avrw, dXXd jxr] 
^ yev6/x€vov Buttmann : yevo/j.evuv mss. 

^ The saying, which became proverbial, is thought to have 
occurred in one of the (now lost) plays of Plato, the Athenian 
comic poet, who lived c. 460-389 b.c. 



the eldest son, the heir to the throne, is born, first of 
all the king's subjects who are in his palace have a 
feast, and then for ever after on that date the whole 
of Asia celebrates the king's birthday ^vith sacrifice 
and feasting : but when we are born, as the comic 
poet^ says, " even the neighbours barely notice it," 
Alcibiades. After that comes the nurture of the 
child, not at the hands of a woman-nurse of Uttle 
worth, but of the most highly approved eunuchs in 
the king's service, who are charged >\'ith the whole 
tendance of the new-born child, and especially with 
the business of making him as handsome as possible 
by moulding his hmbs into a correct shape ; and 
while doing this they are in high honour. When 
the boys are seven years old they are given horses 
and have riding lessons, and they begin to follow the 
chase. And when the boy reaches fourteen years 
he is taken over by the royal tutors, as they call 
them there : these are four men chosen as the 
most highly esteemed among the Persians of mature 
age, namely, the ■wisest one, the justest one, the 
most temperate one, and the bravest one. The 
first of these teaches him the magian lore of 
Zoroaster,^ son of Horomazes ; and that is the wor- 
ship of the gods : he teaches him also what per- 
tains to a king. The justest teaches him to be 
truthful all his hfe long ; the most temperate, not 
to be mastered by even a single pleasxu-e, in order 
that he may be accustomed to be a free man and 
a veritable king, who is the master first of all that is 
in him, not the slave ; while the bravest trains him 

* Zoroaster was the reputed founder of the Persian 
religion, of which the ministers were the Magi or hereditary' 



oovXevcov 6 Be dvhpeioTaTos a(f>o^ov /cat dSea 
vapaaKevd^cov , ws orav Seiarj SovXov ovra. crol 

B 8', c5 'AA/ct^ictSrj, IlepLKXrjs eTTcaT-qae TracSaytoyov 
ratv oiKCTcbv rov dxpeLorarov vtto yrjpcos, 7Jd)7Tvpov 
Tov QpaKa. SiTjXdov Be /cat rrjv dX\r]v dv aoi rdjv 
avT ay lov tar d)v Tpo(f)'qv re /cat TracBelav, el p>rj 
TToXv epyov r\v' koX dfia ravd^ t/cavd BrjXdJaai, /cat 
rdXXa ocra tovtols dKoXovda. ri^s Be aijs yeve- 
aeojs, c5 'AXKL^idBrj, /cat rpo^rjg /cat TratSetaj, r^ 
aXXov orovovv ^AdrjvaLOJV, co? eVo? etTretv, ovBevl 
fieXei, el jxrj et rts epacmjs crov rvyxdveL a)v. el 
8 av e9eXois els ttXovtovs aTro^SAe^ai /cat TpV(f)ds 

C /cat eaOrJTas Ifiaricov 9^ eX^ets /cat p^vpcov dXot,(f)ds 
/cat depaTTovTcov ttX-qOovs aKoXovdias T'qv re dXXrjv 
d^p6rr]ra rrjv Hepawv, ala)(vv6eLrjs dv eTil aeavrco, 
alaOavofievos oaov avrcbv eXXelrreig. 

Et 8' av edeX-qaeis els au)(f)poavvrjv re /cat 
KoajJbiorrjra aTTo^Xeijjai /cat ev^epeLav /cat evKoXlav 
/cat ixeyaXo(f)po(jvv7]v /cat evra^iav /cat dvBpeiav 
/cat Kaprepiav /cat (f)iXo7TOVLav /cat ^tAovt/ctW /cat 
<f)i,Xori,p,Las rds Aa/ceSatjuovtajv, TratSa dv rjy^craLO 

J) aavrov Trdai rots roiovrois. el 8' au ri /cat ttAouto) 
TTpocrexets /cat /card rovro otei rl elvai, ptrjBe rovro 
rjixiv dpprjrov ear to, edv ttws atadrj ov el. rovro 
fiev yap el e^e'Aei? tows' AaKeBaifxovLcov TrXovrovs 
IBetv, yvcoar) on ttoXv rdvOdBe rdJv eKel eXXelveL. 
yijv fxev yap oaiqv e^pvaL rrjs 9 eavrdJv Kal Mea- 
a-^v-qs, ovB^ dv els dfi(f)i,a^r]r7Jaei,e rdJv rfjBe TTXr]9eL 
ovBe dperfj, oi)8' av dvBpaTToBcov Kriqaei rcov re 
dXXcov /cat rcov eiXwriKOJV, ovBe firjv LTnrojv ye, ovB 



to be fearless and undaunted, telling him that to be 
daunted is to be enslaved. But you, Alcibiades, had 
a tutor set over you by Pericles from amongst his 
servants, who was old as to be themost useless of them, 
Zopyrus the Thracian. I might describe to you at 
length the nurture and education of your competitors, 
were it not too much of a task ; and besides, what I 
have said suffices to show the rest that follows 
thereon. But about your birth, Alcibiades, or nurture 
or education, or about those of any other Athenian, 
one may say that nobody cares, unless it be some 
lover whom you chance to have. And again, if you 
chose to glance at the wealth, the luxury, the robes 
with sweeping trains, the anointings ^^^th myrrh, the 
attendant troops of menials, and all the other refine- 
ments of the Persians, you would be ashamed at 
your own case, on percei\ing its inferiority to theirs. 
Should you choose, again, to look at the temper- 
ance and orderhness, the facility and placidity, the 
magnanimity and discipline, the courage and endur- 
ance, and the toil-loving, success-loving, honour- 
loving spirit of the Spartans, you would count your- 
self but a child in all these things. If again you 
regard wealth, and think yoiu-self something in that 
way, I must not keep silence on this point either, if 
you are to reahze where you stand. For in this 
respect you have only to look at the wealth of the 
Spartans, and you will perceive that our riches here 
are far inferior to theirs. Think of all the land that 
they have both in their own and in the Messenian 
country : not one of our estates could compete -v^ith 
theirs in extent and excellence, nor again in owner- 
ship of slaves, and especially of those of the helot 
class, nor yet of horses, nor of all the flocks and herds 



E oara aAAa ^oaKrifj,ara Kara MeorcrT^VTjr viyLerai' 
aAAa ravra jxkv Travra ecu -x^aipeLV, ■)(^pvaiov 8e Kal 
apyvpiov ovK eariv iv Trdcriv "EAAt^ctiv oaov iv 
A.aKehai{xovL tSta* ttoAAo,? yap -qhr] yeveas ela- 
epx^rat, jxev avroae ef aTTavTOiV raJv 'l^XXrjviov, 
TToAAa/ct? Se Kal e/c raiv ^ap^dpiov, i^epx^Tac 8e 
ovSajjioae , aAA' dTe;^^!)? Kara rov AIctwttov jjivdov, 
123 oi^ rj dXwTTr]^ TTpos rov Xeovra cine, Kal rov els 
AaKehaipLOva ' vopiiapiaros elaiovros p.ev rd ixyq 
rd €K€la€ rerpap.p,iva SryAa, i^iovros Se ovBap,fj 
dv Ti? tSoi" cocTTe €U XPV ^ISevai on Kal ;^puo-ai Kal 
apyvpcp OL cKel TrXovanoraroi elai rcbv 'EXXt]vcov, 
/cat avrdjv eKcivcov 6 ^aatXevs- e/c re ydp ra>v 
roiovrcov pbeyicrraL Xijifjeig Kal rrXelurai elai rols 

B ^aaiXevGLV, en 8e Kal 6 ^acnXiKos (f>6pos ovk oXiyos 
ytyverai, ov reXovauv ol AaKeSaLfxovioi rots' 
^aaiXevaiv. Kal rd fiev AaKehaipiovioiv cos Trpos 
*EAAi]vi/coii? iiev TrXovrovs /xeyaAa, o)? Se Trpos" 
rovg IlepaLKOvs Kal rov e/cetVcov ^aaiXeois ovSev 
€7T€L ttot' iyoj rJKOvaa dvSpds d^iOTriarov rcbv 
dva^e^TjKorcov rrapd ^aaiXea, os e(f)y] rrapeXOeiv 
■^oipo-v rrdw TToXXrjv Kal dyad-qv, iyyiis rjfiepr^aiav 
oSov, rjv KaXelv rovs e7rt;)(ajptoi»s' ^cov-qv rrjs jSaai- 
Ae'co? yvvaiKos' elvai 8e Kal dXXrjV t]v av KoXeladaL 

C KoXvTrrpav, Kal dXXovs ttoXXovs rorrovs koXovs 
Kal dyadovs els rov Koajxov e^rjprjjjievovs rov rrjs 
yvvaiKos , Kal ovofxara ex^iv eKaarovs rcijv rorrcov 
diTO eKdarov rwv Koaficov ware olp,aL eyu), ei ns 
CLTTOL rfj ^aariXeajs /xt^t/ji, "Rep^ov he yvvaiKt, 
*Ap.r]arpLhi, on iv vo) ex^i aov rco vlei dvn- 
rdrreaOai 6 Aeivofidx'rjS vlos, fj ean kog/jlos ictco? 
d^Los fJ>vdjv 7TevrT]Kovra, el rrdw ttoXXov, rip 8 vtet 


that graze in Messene. However, I pass over all 
these things : but there is more gold and silver 
privately held in Lacedaemon than in the whole of 
Greece ; for during many generations treasure has 
been passing in to them from every part of Greece, 
and often from the barbarians also, but not passing 
out to anyone ; and just as in the fable of Aesop, 
where the fox remarked to the hon on the direction 
of the footmarks, the traces of the money going into 
Lacedaemon are clear enough, but nowhere are any 
to be seen of it coming out ; so that one can be pretty 
sure that those people are the richest of the Greeks 
in gold and silver, and that among themselves the 
richest is the king ; for the largest and most numer- 
ous receipts of the kind are those of the kings, and 
besides there is the levy of the royal tribute in no 
shght amount, which the Spartans pay to their kings. 
Now, the Spartan fortunes, though great compared 
with the wealth of other Greeks, are nought beside 
that of the Persians and their king. For I myself 
was once told by a trustworthy person, who had been 
up to their court, that he traversed a very large tract 
of excellent land, nearly a day's journey, which the 
inhabitants called the girdle of the king's wife, and 
another which was similarly called her veil ; and 
many other fine and fertile regions reserved for the 
adornment of the consort ; and each of these regions 
was named after some part of her apparel. So I 
imagine, if someone should say to the king's mother 
Amestris, who was wife of Xerxes, " The son of 
Deinomache ^ intends to challenge your son ; the 
mother's dresses are worth perhaps fifty minae at 
the outside, while the son has under three hundred 

* The mother of Alcibiades. 



avTTJs yrjs irXedpa 'Ep;(tao-iv ovhe rpLaKoaia, 
davfidaac av oro) Trore marevajv iv vo) e;\;et ovros 

D o 'AA/ctjStctSTjs" Tip ^Apro^ep^T] hiayoivil,eadaL, /cat 
oifiai av avrrjv etTrelv on ovi< ead^ orco aXXco ttl- 
arevcov ovros 6 dvrjp €7rt;^eipet TrXrjv CTTt/xeAeia re 
Kal ao(f)(,a' ravra yap jjLova d'^ta Xoyov iv "EAAtjctiv. 
irrel et ye TTvdoiro, on 6 ^AXkl^iolStjs ovros vvv 
iiTLxeLpel TTpcorov p,€V errj ovheino yeyovcos CT^oSpa 
€t/co(nv, €7T€Lra TravraTTaaiv aTratSevros, rrpos Se 
rovroLS, rod ipaarov avrco Xeyovros on XP''] TTpchrov 
jjiadovra Kal iTTLpbeXrjdevra avrov /cat duK-qaavra 

E ovrcos teVat Si,aycovLovp,€vov jSaatAet, ovic ideXeL, 
dXXd (f)r}aLV e^apKelv Kal (Ls ^xei, ot/zat dv avrrjv 
davpidaai re Kal epeadai- ri ovv iror^ eanv orcp 
TTiarevei ro fxetpaKLov ; el ovv Xeyoipiev on /caAAet 
re /cat p,eyedeL Kal yevei /cat ttAoutoj /cat (f)vaet, rrjs 
ijjvxyjs, 'qyqaair' dv rjp,ds, c5 'AA/ct^tdST^, pbatveadai 
TTpos rd TTapd a(f){,aiv drro^Xeifjaaa Ttdvra rd rotavra. 
ot)u,at 8e Kav Aa/xTTtSoi, rrjv AecoTu;^t8ou p,€v dvya- 
124 repa, ^Ap)(LSdp,ov 8e yvvaiKa, "AytSo? 8e p,rjrepa, 
OL TTavres ^aatAet? yeyovaai, davfiaaai dv Kat 
ravrrjv ets Ta Trapd a(j>LaLV tnrapxovra airo- 
^Xei/jaaav , el av iv va> e-^ets ra> vlel avrijs Stayojvt- 
i,e(x6aL ovro) KaKws rjyp.evos. Kairoi ovk alcrxpov 
boKel elvai., el at rcov 7ToXepi.t.a)V yvvaiKes ^eXnov 
rrepl rjpbdJv Stavoovvrai, otovs XPV dvras ai^laiv 
emxeipeZv, r] rjpieLS Trepl rjpi,cJi)v avrcov ; dAA', c3 
/Lta/cctpte, TTeLdofxevos e/iot re Kal rep iv AeA^oi? 

jj ypdpLp^an, yvwdi aavrov, on ovroi elalv dvriTraXoL, 
dAA' ovx ovs av otef cLv aXXcp p,ev ouS' dv evl 
Treptyevolfieda, el p.rj Trep eVt/AeAeta re dv /cat 



acres at Erchiae,^ " she would wonder to what on 
earth this Alcibiades could be trusting, that he pro- 
posed to contend against Artaxerxes ; and I expect 
she would remark — " The only possible things that 
the man can be trusting to for his enterprise are 
industry and A^isdom ; for these are the only things 
of any account among the Greeks." Whereas if 
she were informed that this Alcibiades who is actually 
making such an attempt is, in the first place, as yet 
barely twenty years old, and secondly, altogether 
uneducated ; and further, that when his lover tells 
him that he must first learn, and take pains over 
himself, and practise, before he enters on a contest 
with the king, he refuses, and says he will do very 
well as he is ; I expect she would ask in surprise, 
" On what, then, can the youngster rely ? " And if 
we told her, " On beauty, stature, birth, wealth, and 
mental gifts," she would conclude we were mad, 
Alcibiades, when she compared the advantages of 
her o^\■n people in all these respects. And I imagine 
that even Lampido, daughter of Leotychides and 
wife of Archidaraus and mother of Agis, who have all 
been kings, would wonder in the same way, when 
she compared her people's resources, at your inten- 
tion of having a contest with her son despite your 
bad upbringing. And yet, does it not strike you as 
disgraceful that our enemies' wives should have a 
better idea of the qualities that we need for an 
attempt against them than we have ourselves .'' Ah, 
my remarkable friend, hsten to me and the Delphic 
motto, Knorv thyself; for these people are our com- 
petitors, not those whom you think ; and there is 
nothing that will give us ascendancy over them save 

^ In Attica, about fifteen miles east of Athens. 



Te)(yr). (Lv aru el aTToXeK^driar], kol rov ovofiaaros 
ycveadai d7ToXei(f>9Tjcrrj ev "YiXkqai re /cat ^ap^dpois, 
ov fioL SoKets ipdv d)s ousels' aAAo? aAAou. 

AAK. TtVa ovv XPV '^W eTTi/ieAeiav, co Yid>Kpares, 
TTOielaOai; ex^is e^rjyqaaad ai; iravros yap fidX- 
Xov eoLKas dX-qOrj elprjKOTt. 

5n. Nat* dAAct yap KOivrj ^ovX-q, tSrtvt rpoTTCp 
C av on ^iXTiaroL yevoljxeda' eyd) yap rot ov Trepl 
p,kv aov XeycD cos XPV "^aLBevdrjvai, Ttepl efiov 8e 
OV' ov yap ead^ orco aov Sta^epcu ttAt^v ye evi. 

AAK. TtVt; 

2n. '0 eirirpoTTOs 6 ifios ^eXrioiv iarl koI 
ao<f>cor€pos "»} rieptAcAT^S" o aos. 

AAK. Ti? ovros, (L UdoKpares ; 

2n. Seos, CO ^AXKL^LaSrj, ocrnep aoi pie ovk eta 
TTpo rrja^e rrjs rjfiepas 8iaAe;^^7yi'af (S Kat ttl- 
arevojv Xeyo), on, tj cTrt^areta St' ovhevos dXXov 
aoL ear at -^ St' e/xou. 
D AAK. Ilat^ets", c5 Sco/cpare?. 

2n. "IcroJS" Ae'yoj p,evroL dXrjdrj, on, evrt/xeAeta? 
8e6p.eda, p,dXXov p,ev Trai^res" dvdpcoTTOi, drdp vd) 
ye KOi fjidXa a(f)6Spa. 

AAK. "Ort p,ev eyo), ov ipevSTj. 

2n. Uvbe p,rjv on y eyco. 

AAK. Tt ovv dv TTOtot/xev; 

2X1. Ovk aTTopprjTeov ovhe /xaAa/ctare'ov, at eralpe. 

AAK. OvTOL Sr) TTpenei ye, c5 Soj/cpares". 

2n. Ov yap, dAAa aKeTneov Koivfj. Kai p.oi Xeye' 

1 Cf. above, 119 b. 



only pains and skill. If you are found wanting in 
these, you will be found wanting also in achievement 
of renown among Greeks and barbarians both ; and 
of this I observe you to be more enamoured than 
anyone else ever was of anything. 

ALc. Well then, what are the pains that I must 
take, Socrates ? Can you enlighten me ? For I 
must say your words are remarkably hke the truth. 

soc. Yes, I can : but we must put our heads 
together,^ you know, as to the way in which we 
can improve oiu-selves to the utmost. For observe 
that when I speak of the need of being educated I 
am not referring only to you, apart from myself; since 
my case is identical ^Yith. yours except in one point. 

ALC. WTiat is that ? 

soc. My guardian is better and wiser than your 
one, Pericles. 

ALC. \Mio is he, Socrates ? 

soc. God, Alcibiades, who until this day would 
not let me converse with you ; and trusting in him 
I say that through no other man but me will you 
attain to eminence. 

ALC. You are jesting, Socrates. 

soc. Perhaps ; I am right, however, in saying that 
we need to take pains — all men rather badly, but 
we two very badly indeed. 

ALC. As to me, you are not wrong. 

soc. Nor, I fear, as to myself either. 

ALC. Then what can we do ? 

soc. There must be no crying off or skulking, my 
good friend. 

ALC. No, for that would indeed be unseemly, 

soc. It would; so let us consider in common. 



E <f>afj,€v yap Srj (Jbs apicrrot, ^ovXeaOai yeveadai. rj 

AAK. Nat. 
2n. TtVa dpeTrjv ; 

AAK. A-qXov on TJvTTep ot avSpes ol ayadoi. 
2n. Ot Tt ayadoi; 

AAK. ArjXov on ol rrpdrTeiv to. TTpdyfiara. 
2n. Ilota; dpa ra LmnKa; 
AAK. Ol) S^ra. 

2fi. Ila/aa Toils' lttttlkovs ydp dv fifJ-cv; 
AAK. Nat. 

2X1. 'AAAa ra vaurt/ca Aeyei?; 
AAK. Oy. 

2X1. Yiapd rovs vavnKovs ydp dv fjpiev ; 
AAK. Nat. 

2X1. 'AAAa TTota; a rives' Trpdrrovaiv; 
AAK. "Arrep 'Adrjvaicov ol KaXot Kdyadoi. 
125 2X1. KaAous 8e KdyaOovs Xeyeis rovs ^povip.ovs 
ri rovs d(f>povas ; 

AAK. ToVS (f)pOVLp,OVS. 

2X1. OvKovv o €Kaaros ^p6vip,os , rovro dyaOos; 

AAK. Nat. 

2X1. "0 8e d(f)pa)V, TTOvrjpos ; 

AAK. riaJS' ydp ov ; 

2X1. *Ap' ow o OKvroropos (f)p6vLfxos fits' utto- 
Srjpdrwv epyaaiav ; 

AAK. ITavu ye. 

2X1. 'Aya^o? apa ets avrd; 

AAK. 'Aya^os'. 

2X1. Tt 8e'; eis lp,ari(x>v epyaaiav ovk d(f>po)v 6 
oKvroropos ; 

AAK. Nat. 



Now tell me : we say, do we not, that we wish to 
be as good as possible ? 

ALc. Yes. 

soc. In what excellence ? 

ALC. Clearly that which is the aim of good men. 

soc. Good in what ? 

ALC. Clearly, good in the management of affairs. 

soc. WTiat sort of affairs ? Horsemanship ? 

ALC, No, no. 

soc. Because we should apply to horsemen ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Well, seamanship, do you mean ? 

ALC. No. 

soc. Because we should apply to seamen .'' 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Well, what sort of thing ? The business of 
what men .'' 

ALC. Of Athenian gentlemen. 

soc. Do you mean by " gentlemen " the intelhgent 
or the unintelhgent ? 

ALC. The intelhgent. 

soc. And everyone is good in that wherein he is 
intelhgent ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And bad wherein he is unintelligent ? 

ALC. Of course. 

soc. Then is the shoemaker intelhgent in the 
making of foot-gear ? 

ALC. Certainly. 

soc. So he is good in that article ? 

ALC. Good. 

soc. Well now, is not the shoemaker unintelhgent 
in the making of clothes ? 

ALC. Yes. 

VOL. VIII N 177 


B 2n. Ka/co? apa els rovro; 
AAK. Nat. 

2n. '0 avTos apa rovrco ye rep Xoycp KaKos re 
/cat ay ados. 
AAK. Oatverat. 

2n. 'H ovv Xeyets rovs dyadovs dvSpas etvai 
Kal KaKovs; 
AAK. Ov Srjra. 

2n. 'AAAa TiVa? rrore rovs dyaOovs Xeyets; 
AAK. Tovs Bvva/Jbevovs eycoye ap)(eLV ev rfj TToXei,. 
2n. Ov Srjvrou Ittttcov ye; 
AAK. Ov hrjra. 
2n. 'AAA' dvdpcoTTcov; 
AAK. Nat. 
2n. ^Apa Kap,v6vr(x)v ; 

AAK. Ov. 

2X1. 'AAAo, TrXeovrwv ; 
AAK. Ou <f}r]p,L. 

2n. 'AAAa depit,6vroiv ; 

AAK. Ot». 
C 2n. AAA ouSev TTOLOVvrojv rj ri noLovvrcov ; 

AAK. IIotouvTajv Xeyoj. 

2n. Tt; TTeipo) Kal e/Mol BrjXwGai. 

AAK. Ou/cow roiv /cat avfi^aXXovrcov eavroZs 
Kal ;^/)a)/xeVcov dAATyAois', oiOTrep rjp.eis ^oi/Ltev ev 
rat? TToAecrtv. 

2n. Oy/cow dv6p(x)7Tcov Xeyets apx^iv dvOpioTTOis 
Xpa>p,evujv ; 

AAK. Nat. 

2fl. *Apa /ceAeucTTcDv ;^p6t>/xeva>i' eperais ; 

AAK. Oi) hrjra. 

2n. liv^epvrjrLKTj yap avrrj ye dperij; 


soc. So he is bad in that ? 

ALc. Yes. 

soc. Then, on this sho^\ing, the same man is both 
bad and good, 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. Well, can you say that good men are also 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. But whoever do you mean by the good ? 

ALC. I mean those who are able to rule in the citj'. 

soc. Not, I presume, over horses ? 

ALC. No, no. 

soc. But over men } 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. When they are sick ? 

ALC. No. 

soc. Or at sea ? 

ALC. I say, no. 

soc. Or harvesting ? 

ALC. No. 

soc. Doing nothing, or doing something ? 

ALC. Doing something, I say. 

soc. Doing what ? Try and let me know. 

ALC. Well, men who do business with each other 
and make use of one another, as is our way of Hfe 
in our cities. 

soc. Then you speak of ruhng over men who make 
use of men ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Over boatswains who make use of rowers ? 

ALC. No, no. 

soc. Because that is the pilot's distinction ? 



AAK. Nai. 

2n. AAA' avd pcjTTOiv Aeyet? ap)(^€iv avXrjrcbv , 
D avOptoTTOLS 'qyovfxevojv coSrjs Kal p^pw/xei^cov ■yopev- 

AAK. Ou ST^ra. 

2n. Xo/3o8i8acr/caAi/ci7 yap auTT^ y' ay; 

AAK. Yidvv ye. 

2n. AAAa Tt TTore Aeyet? Xpco/u.evcDi' avdpojmiiv 
avdpcoTTOLS olov r elvat, dpx€iv ; 

AAK. KotvcDvowTcor eycoye Aeyo) TroAiretas" /cat 
cru[j,PaXX6vrcov Trpos dAAi^Aous', rouraiv' dpx^tv rd)v 
ev rfj TToAet. 

2n. Ti? ow aurrj t^ rexi^rj ; wavep dv el ae 
€poifi7)v TTCtAtv ra vw 8rj, Koivcovovvrcov vavriXias 
€TTiaraadaL dp^civ ris Trotet T€)(yrj; 

AAK. K.vPepVTjTlK'q. 

E 2n. KotvcovowTcor Se (p^rjs, cos vvv hrj iXeyero, 
tLs CTTtCTTTj/XTj TTOict dp-)(eiv ; 

AAK. "HvTre/) cry aprt eAeyes", 17 ;(opoSi8acr/caAta. 

2n. Tt Se; TToXireias Koivcovovvrcov riva KaXeZs 
eTTKTTrjiMriv ; 

AAK. Eu^oyAi'av eycoye, cS HcoKpares . 

5n. Tt Se; /xcDv d^ovXta So/cet eti^ai ij rcDi' ku- 
^epvrjTcov ; 

AAK. Oi) 8>^Ta. 

2n. 'AAA' €V^ovXia; 
126 AAK. "E/tioiye 80/cer, et? ye to atp^eadai TrXeovras. 

2n. KaAca? Ae'yet?. Tt 8e'; rjv av Ae'yet? eu- 
^ovXiav, els ri eariv ; 

AAK. Et? TO dfjueivov rr]v ttoXlv Stot/cetv Kal 



ALc. Yes. 

soc. Well, do you mean ruling over men who are 
flute-players, and who lead the singing and make 
use of dancers ? 

ALC. No, no. 

soc. Because, again, that is the chorus-teacher's 
function ? 

ALc. To be sure. 

soc. But whatever do you mean by being able to 
rule over men who make use of men ? 

ALc. I mean ruling over men in the city who share in 
it as fellow-citizens, and do business with each other. 

soc. Well, what art is tliis .'' Suppose I should 
ask you over again, as I did just now, what art makes 
men know how to rule over fellow-sailors ? 

ALC. The pilot's. 

soc. And what knowledge— to repeat what was 
said a moment ago — makes them rule over their 
fellow-singers ? 

ALC. That which you just mentioned, the chorus- 

soc. W^ell now, what do you call the knowledge 
of one's fellow-citizens ? 

ALC. Good counsel, I should say, Socrates. 

soc. Well, and is the pilot's knowledge evil 
counsel ? 

ALC. No, no. 

soc. Rather good counsel ? 

ALC. So I should think, for the preservation of his 

soc. Quite right. And now, for what is the good 
counsel of which you speak .'' 

ALC. For the better management and preservation 
of the city. 



Sn. "AjMcivov 8e Siot/cetrat /cat aco^crai tlvos 
'TTapayiyvofievov t] dTToyiyvofievov ; wctTtep dv el 
av fi€ epoLO- dfxeivov Siot/cetrai acofxa Kal aw^erai 
TLVOS TTapayiyvopievov t) aTToyiyvofjievov ; etTrot/x' 
av OTL vyieias p>€v TTapayiyvofievrjg, voaov he 
aTToyLyvofjievrjs . ov /cat cry otet ovrcog; 
B AAK. Nat. 

2n. Kat €t jjie av kpoio' rivos 8e Trapayiyvopiivov 
dpLeivov ojjbjxara; coaavrcos €L7tol[m dv on oipecos 
fiev 7TapayLyvop.€vr]s , rv(f)\6T7]ros 8e d7royi,yvop,€vr]s . 
/cat cora Be KOj^oTiqros jxev aTToyLyvofxevTjg, aKorjs 
he eyyiyvoixevrjs ^eXricx) re ytyverai /cat afxeivov 

AAK. ^Opdcos. 

2n. Tt 8e 87^; ttoXls tlvos 7TapayLyvoyi.evov /cat 
dnoyLyvofjievov ^cXtlojv re ytyverai /cat dp-eivov 
OepaTTeveraL /cat 8tot/cetTat; 
C AAK. 'E/xot fjbev 8o/C€t, (3 Sco/cpare?, orav <^iAta 
/xev aurot? yLyvr)TaL Trpos aAAi^Aous-, to fj,Lcr€LV he 
/cat CTTacria^etv dTToyiyvrjTai. 

2n. ^Ap' ouv ^lAt'av Aeyet? o/Aovotav •^ 8i;^ovotav; 

AAK. '0/Aovotav. 

2n. Atd Ttva ouv T€)(yT]v opLovoovaLv at TroAet? 
TTcpt dpiOfjLovs; 

AAK. Ata. T-17V dpiOpirjTLKrjV. 

t oe ot LOLiOTaL; ov ota rT)v axrrrjv; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Ou/couv /cat auro? avrw eKaaros; 

AAK. Nat. 


soc. And what is it that becomes present or 
absent when we get this better management and 
preservation ? If, for example, you should ask me, 
" What is it that becomes present or absent when 
the body is better managed and preserved ? " — I 
should reply, " Health becomes present, and disease 
absent." Do not you think so too ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And if, again, you asked me, " What 
becomes present in a better condition of the eyes ? " 
— I should answer in just the same way, " Sight 
becomes present, and blindness absent." So, in the 
case of the ears, deafness is caused to be absent, and 
hearing to be present, when they are improved and 
getting better treatment. 

ALC. Correct. 

soc. Well then, what is it that becomes present 
or absent when a state is improved and has better 
treatment and management ? 

ALC. To my mind, Socrates, friendship with one 
another will be there, while hatred and faction will 
be absent. 

soc. Now, by friendship do you mean agreement 
or disagreement ? 

ALC. Agreement. 

soc. And what art is it that causes states to agree 
about numbers ? 

ALC. Arithmetic. 

soc. And what of individuals ? Is it not the 
same art ? 

ALC Yes. 

soc. And it makes each single person agree with 
himself ? 

ALC. Yes. 



Sn. Aio. riva 8e re-)(y7]v CKaarog avros avro) 
D oiJiovoel Tvepl OTnOaixfjs Kal TT'qx^os, OTTorepov 
fMel^ov; ov Blol tt^v /AerpTjri/CT^v; 
AAK. Tt /XT^v; 

2n. OvKovv Kal ol iStcurat dAAi^Aois' Kat at 
770 Aei?; 

AAK. Nai. 

2fl. Ti Sc TTc/ai araOiMov; ovx (haavrtos; 

AAK. (Prjjjbi. 

sn. "Hv 8e 817 cry Aeyet? ofxovotav, ris ecrri /cat 
77ept Tov, Kal Tt? avT7]v r€-)(yrj TrapaaKevd^et; /cat 
apa T^Vep TroAet, avrr] Kal l8i.corrj, avTw re -npos 
avTov Kal TTpos dXXov; 

AAK. Ei/co? ye rot. 

2n. Tt? ovv eari; fMrj Kafxr^s dTTOKpivofxevos, 
E dAAa TTpodvfjLov elireiv. 

AAK. 'Eyoj /xev ot/xat <^iXiav re Xeyew KaL o/jlo- 
voiav, rjVTTep Trar-qp re vlov (f)iXwv opiovoet /cat 
fi'qrrjp, Kal dheX<l>6s dSeA^oj /cat yuvT^ dvSpt. 

Sn. Oiet dv ovv, w 'AXKL^idSr), dvSpa yvvaiKi 
TTepl raXaaiovpyias SvvaadaL opiovoeZv, rov /xr; 
eTTiardpievov rfj eTTtarapLevr] ; 

AAK. Ov Bijra. 

Sn. OvBe ye Set ovSe'v yvvacKelov yap rovro ye 

AAK. Nat. 
127 5^- Tt Be; yvvT] dvBpl irepl OTrXtrLKrjs Bvvair 
dv 6p,ovoetv 1X7] p,adovaa; 

AAK. Ov Brjra. 

2n. ^AvBpelov yap rovro ye loco? av <f)aLr)s av 
etvat, . 

AAK. "Eycoye. 


soc. And what art makes each of us agree with 

liiroself as to which is the longer, a span or a cubit ? 
Is it not mensuration ? 

ALc. Of course. 

soc. And it makes both individuals and states agree 
with each other .'' 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And what about the balance ? Is it not the 
same here too .'' 

ALC. It is. 

soc. Then what is that agreement of which you 
speak, and about what ? And what art secures it ? 
And is it the same in an individual as in a state, when 
one agrees with oneself and >\ith another ? 

ALC. Most hkely. 

soc. Well, what is it ? Do not flag in your answers, 
but do your best to tell me. 

ALC. I suppose I mean the friendship and agree- 
ment that you find when a father and mother love 
their son, and between brother and brother, and 
husband and wife. 

soc. Then do you suppose, Alcibiades, that a 
husband can possibly agree ^\-ith his wife about wool- 
work, when he does not understand it, and she does ? 

ALC. Oh, no. 

soc. Nor has he any need, since that is a woman's 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Or again, could a woman agree with a man 
about soldiering, when she has not learnt it .'' 

ALC. Oh, no. 

soc. Because, I expect you will say again, that is 
a man's affair. 

ALC. I would. 



2n. "EiOTLV dpa to, fikv ywaiKeia, ra. 8e av^pela 
IxadtjiMara Kara rov aov Xoyov. 

AAK. Ilais" 8' oij; 

2X1. OvK dpa ev ye rovroLS iarlv ofxovoLa 
yvvai^l rrpos dvSpas. 

AAK. Ov. 

5fl. Oi58' dpa (j)iXia, eiTrep r) (fiiXia opbovoia rjv. 

AAK. Ov ^aiverai. 

2n. 'Ht dpa at yvvaiKes ra avrtbv irpdrrovaiv, 
ov (jiiXovvTai VTTo rcov dvSpcov. 


2n. Oi)8' dpa ol dvhpes vtto ra)V yvvaiKcov, fj 
rd avToJv. 

AAK. Ov. 

2n. OuS' €v^ dpa ravrrj oiKovvrai at TToXeis, 
orav rd avrdJv eKaarot Trpdrrojcnv ; 

AAK. Otfiai eycoye, & TicoKpares. 

Sn. Hws Xeyecs, (j)iXias p.rj Trapovarjs, 17? 
^a/xev yLyvofJLevTjs ev olKeladai rag rroXeis, dXXcus 
e ov; 

AAK. 'AAAa fioi SoKel Kal Kara rovro avrolg 
*j)iXia eyyiyveadai, on rd avrdjv eKarepoi irpdr- 
C 2n. OvK dpri ye- vvv 8e Traj? o.v Xeyets; o/xo- 
voiag firj iyyLyvofievrjs ^iXia eyyiyverai; rj olov 
9* ofJLovoiav eyyiyveadai, chv ol p,ev laaai irepi 
rovrcov, ol 8' ov; 

AAK. *ASvvarov. 

2n. At/caia 8e TTpdrrovaiv r^ dSiKa, orav rd avrtov 
CKaarot TrpdrrcooLv ; 

AAK. At/cata* TToJs ydp ov; 

^ t5 Olympiodorus: a5 siss. 


soc. Then, by your account, there are some pursuits 
belonging to women, and some to men ? 

ALc. Of course. 

soc. So in these, at any rate, there is no agreement 
between men and women. 

ALC. Xo. 

soc. And hence no friendship either, if, as we said, 
friendship is agreement. 

ALC. Apparently not. 

soc. So women are not loved by men, in so far as 
they do their o>^'n work. 

ALC. It seems not. 

soc. Nor are men by women, in so far as they do 

ALC. No. 

soc. And states, therefore, are not well ordered 
in so far as each person does his o\^ti business ? ^ 

ALC. I think they are, Socrates. 

soc. How can you say that ? Without the presence 
of friendship, which we say must be there if states 
are well ordered, as other^^ise they are not ? 

ALC. But it seems to me that friendship arises 
among them just on that account — that each of the 
two parties does its o\s'n business. 

soc. It was not so a moment since : but now, what 
do you mean this time ? Does friendship arise 
where there is no agreement ? And is it possible 
that agreement should arise where some know about 
the business, but others do not ? 

ALC. Impossible. 

soc. And are they doing what is just or unjust, 
when each man does his o^vn business .'' 

ALC. What is just, of course. 

» Cf. Charm. 161 e, Rep. i. 332 ff. 



Sn. To, hiKaia ovv Trparrovrajv iv rfj ttoXcl rcjv 
TToXircbv (fjiXia ovK eyylyver ai Trpos dXX-qXovs; 

AAK. 'AmyKTj av /xot SoKel elvat, (h HojKpares. 

2n. TiVa ovv TTore Xeyets rrjv <j)iXiav r] ofxovoiav, 
D '7T€pl •^s Set rjiJids ao(f)ovs re etvat /cat ev^ovXovg, 
Lva ayadol dvSpes cbfMev; ov yap Swa/xat p.aOe'iv 
ov9^ 'qns oyV iv olariai' rork [xev yap ev rois 
avrots <j)aiveraL ivovcra, rork h ov, (hs ^x tov 
aov Xoyov. 

AAK. 'AAAa /xa rovs Oeovg, cS HcoKpares, ovh 
avros olha 6 ri Xeyco, KivSvvevo) 8e /cat TraAat XeXrj- 
devac ip,avr6v ataxtcrra e^cov. 

2n. 'AAAa XPI Qoippelv. el p,€V yap avro '^aOov 
E 7T€7Tovdd)s TTevrrjKovraeri]? , x'^Xcttov av r^v aot em- 
fjbeXrjdfjvai aavrov- vvv he rjv exeis rjXiKiav, avr-q 
earlv iv ■fj Set avro aladeadai. 

AAK. Tt ovv rov alcrdav6[Ji.evov XPV '^OLelv, co 
Sco/cpares" ; 

2n. ^ArroKpiveadai rd ipa)ru)p,€va, cS AA/ci- 
^idhrj' /cat idv rovro TTOifjs, av 6e6s deXrj, e'i Tt Set 
/cat rfj ijjifj fjbavrela inareveiv , av re /cdycu jSeArtov 

axr]oop.ev. ^ „ , . , , , 

AAK. "Ecrrat ravra eveKa ye rov ep,e arro- 

2n. Oepe St^, ri icrri rd eavrov iTnjxeXeZcrdaL 

128 — /^T? rroXXaKLS Xdda)fxev ovx rjfJicov avrd>v eVi- 

fjbeXovfjievoL, olojMevoi Si — /cat rrore apa avro ttoicZ 

dvdpcoTTOs; apa orav rdJv avrov imfieXrjrai, rore 

Kal eavrov; 

AAK. 'E/xot yovv 8o/cet. 

5n. Tt Se'; TToSdJv dvdpa>7TOS TTore imp.eXelraL; 
dp* orav iKeivcov imp.eXijraL a iari rcov ttoBcov; 


soc. And when the citizens do what is just in the 
city, does not friendship arise among them ? 

ALc. Again I think that must be so, Socrates. 

soc. Then whatever do you mean by that friend- 
ship or agreement about which we must be wise and 
well-ad\ised in order that we may be good men ? 
For I am unable to learn either what it is, or in whom ; 
since it appears that the same persons sometimes 
have it, and sometimes not, by your account. 

.\LC. Well, by Heaven, Socrates, I do not even 
know what I mean myself, and I fear that for some 
time past I have lived unawares in a disgraceful 

soc. But you must take heart. For had you per- 
ceived your plight at fifty, it would be hard for you to 
take pains with yourself; whereas here you are at 
the time of hfe when one ought to perceive it. 

ALC. Then what should one do on perceiving it, 
Socrates ? 

soc. Answer the questions asked, Alcibiades : 
only do that, and with Heaven's favour — if we are 
to put any trust in my di\ination — you and I 
shall both be in better case. 

ALC. That shall be, so far as my answering can avail. 

soc. Come then, what is " taking pains over 
oneself " — for we may perchance be taking, un- 
awares, no pains over oiu*selves, though we think we 
are — and when does a man actually do it } Does he 
take pains over himself at the same time as over his 
own things ? 

ALC. I at least believe so. 

soc. Well now, when does a man take pains over 
his feet ? Is it when he takes pains over what 
belongs to his feet } 



AAK. Ov fiavOdvoj. 

2n. KaAeis" Se ti x^ipog; olov haKrvXiov eanv 
oTov av dXXov rd)v rod dvOpcovov (j)airjs •^ haKrvXov ; 

AAK. Ov bijra. 

2n. OvKovv /cat ttoBos vrrohrnxa tov avrov 
rpoTTOV ; 

AAK. Nat. 

<2n. Kat Ifidria /cat crTpco/xara tov dWov acu/ia- 
To? ofMOLOJs ; 
B AAK. Nat.>^ 

2n. 'Ap' ovv orav VTTohrjfjbaTCjov eTrt/AcAco/xe^a, 
Tore TToScov €7TLfj,€Xovp.e9a; 

AAK. Ou Trav'i' p,av9dvoj, a) Sco/cpares'. 

5n. Tt Se, cS ' AA/cij8ta87^ ; opdcos errt/xeAetcr^at 
KoAets- Tt oTouow TT pay pharos ; 

AAK. "Eycoye. 

2fi. *Ap' ow orav nV Tt ^cXtlov iroifi, rore opOrjv 
Aeyet? eTTt/AeAciav; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Tt's ow rexvT] virohripiara jSeATio) Trotet; 

AAK. 2/Cl»Tt/C7^. 

2n. Hkvtlkjj dpa v7ToSrjp.drcov eTri/xeAou/xe^a; 
C AAK. Nat. 

2n. *H /cat TToSos (TKvriKfj; ^ eKeivQ fj TroSaj 
^eXriovs 7TOLOvp,€V ; 

AAK. 'E/cetVry. 

2n. BeATtous' 8e TroSa? oi);^ V'^'^P '^"•^ "^^ aAAo 

AAK. "EjLtotye So/cet. 

2n. Avrr) 8' oi5 yu/xracrrt/o^; 

AAK. MciAlCTTa. 

1 Kal l/idria . . . vai Stobaeus : om. mss. 



ALc. I do not understand. 

see. Is there anything you can name as belonging 
to the hand ? For instance, does a ring belong to 
any other part of a man but the finger ? 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. And so the shoe also belongs to the foot, in 
the same way .'' 

ALC, Yes. 

soc. And like^^^se clothes and coverlets belong to 
the whole body ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Now when we take pains over our shoes, we 
take pains over our feet ? 

ALC. I do not quite understand, Socrates. 

soc. Well, but, Alcibiades, you speak of taking 
proper pains over this or that matter, do you not ? 

ALC. I do. 

soc. And do you call it proper pains when someone 
makes a thing better ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Then what art makes shoes better ? 

ALC. Shoe-making. 

soc. So by shoe-making we take pains over our 
shoes ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And over our foot too by shoe-making ? Or 
by that art whereby we make feet better ? 

ALC. *By that art. 

soc. And is it not the same one for making our feet 
as for making the whole body better ? 

ALC. I think so. 

soc. And is not that gymnastic .'' 

ALC. Certainly. 



2n. TvijbvaaTLKrj ^ikv apa ttoSo? intfieXovfieda, 
aKVTiKfj 8e Tcov rov ttoSos"; 

AAK. Ildvv ye. 

5n. Kat yvixvao-TiKfj jMev ')(eip(i>v, 8aKTvXioyXv(f)La 
he Tcov TT^s" X^^P^^' 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Kat yvjxvacrriKfj p,ev acoixaros, v<f>avTi,Kfj 8e 
D /cat rat? aAAats tcov tou acofxaTos ; 

AAK. riavraTTaCTt )Ltev ow. 

2n. "AXXrj jLtev apa rexvrj avrov eKaarov ctti- 
fieXovfieda, dXXrj Se rcbv avrov. 

AAK. OatVerat. 

Sn. Ouxr apa orav tcov aavrov eTTtfJieXfj, aavrov 

AAK. Ov8afJ,d)9. 

2n. Oj5 yap 77 auTi7 rexvf], to? eoiKev, fj ti? av 
auTou T€ eTnp.eXolro /cat tcov auTou. 

AAK. Oy <f>aiverai. 

2n. Oepe §7^, TTOia ttot' av rjixcov avrcov ein- 
fjieXrjOetrjfjiev ; 

AAK. Oy/c e;(60 Aeyetv. 
E 2n. 'AAAci. TocrovSe ye cop-oAoyi^Tat, oVt ou;!( ^ 
av TCOV rjnerepcov /cat OTtouv ^eXriov TTOLoXfiev , dAA 
^ T^/^as auTou?; 

AAK. ^AXiqdrj Xeyeis. 

2fl. *H ovv eyvcop.ev av irore, tls Texyr] vfrohrjfjba 
^eXriov TTOtet, /i.'i^ elSores VTTohrjpLa; 


2n. OySe ye Tt? rexvr] SaKrvXtovs ^eXriovs 
TTOtet, dyvoowTes" Sa/CTuAtov. 
AAK. 'AAt^^-^. 



soc. So by gymnastic we take pains over our foot, 
but by shoe-making over what belongs to our foot ? 

ALC. Quite so. 

soc. And by gymnastic over our hands, but by 
ring-engraving over what belongs to the hand ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And by gymnastic over the body, but by 
weaving and the rest over what belongs to the 
body ? 

ALC Absolutely so. 

soc. Then for taking pains over a thing itself and 
over what belongs to it we use different arts. 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. So when you take pains over your belongings 
you are not taking pains over yourself. 

ALC. Not at all. 

soc. For the arts, it seems, that one used for 
taking pains over oneself and over one's belongings 
would not be the same. 

AL<:. Apparently not. 

soc. Come then, whatever kind of art can we use 
for taking pains over ourselves .'' 

ALC. I cannot say. 

soc. Well, so much at least has been admitted, 
that it is not one which would help us to make a 
single one of our possessions better, but one which 
would help to make ourselves so ? 

ALC. That is true. 

soc. Now, should we ever have known what art 
makes a shoe better, if we had not known a shoe ? 

ALC. Impossible. 

soc. Nor could we know what art makes rings 
better, if we had no cognizance of a ring. 

ALC. True. 

VOL. viii o 1 93 


2n. Tt 8e; TiV rexvTj jSeArtco TTOtet avrov, ap' 
av TTOTc yvolfiev dyvoovvres ri ttot' iafMev avroi; 
129 AAK. 'ASwaror. 

2fl. rioTepop ow St^ paStov rvy)(avei ro yvcovaL 
eavTov, /cat tis" 171^ (f)avAog 6 rovro dvadelg ei? tov 
ev Uvdol vecov, rj ^^aAcTrdv ri /cat ou;(t Travro?; 

AAK. E/xot ju.eV, a> ^wKpares, 77oAAa/<ts' /Aei^ 
eSofe Train-OS' ett-ai, TroAAaKis' 8e 7ray;)(aAe7rov . 

2n. AAA', a> 'AAki^iciStj, etVe pqhiov eire p.rj 
eariv, oficos ye rfpuv c58' e'x^''' yvovTes ju-ev aiVo 
ra;^ av yvoirjfiev ttjv eTTifxeXeiav r]p,a)v avroJv, 
ayvoovvTcg Be ovk dv ttotc. 

AAK. "EoTi raura. 
B 2n. ^€p€ 817, TtV av rpoTTov evpeOeit] avro 
ravTo; ovtco fxkv yap dv rd^ €vpoi,p,€v ri ttot' 
eapbev avroi, rovrov he en ovres ev dyvoia dSvvaroi 


AAK. ^OpddJs Xeyeis- 

2n. 'E;(e ovv irpos Atos". tw SiaAeyei av vvv ; 
dXXo TL T] ifioC; 
AAK. Nat. 

2n. OvKovv /cat eycL) CTot; 
AAK. Nat. 

2n. ^ojKpdTTjs dpa iarlv 6 StaAeyd/xevo?; 
AAK. riavu ye. 

2fl. 'AA/ct^taSi^s" 8e d a/coucuv; 
AAK. Nat. 
2n. Oy/cow Adyo) StaAe'yerat d SoJ/cparT^S"; 

C AAK. Tt /AT^v; 

^ This seems to be a sudden adumbration of the Platonic 
"idea" or form which remains constant, and so "the same," 


soc. Well then, could we ever know what art 
makes the man himself better, if we were ignorant 
of what we are ourselves ? 

.\LC, Impossible. 

soc. Well, and is it an easy thing to know oneself, 
and was it a mere scamp who inscribed these words 
on the temple at Delphi ; or is it a hard thing, and 
not a task for anybody ? 

ALc. I have often thought, Socrates, that it was 
for anybody ; but often, too, that it was very hard. 

soc. But, Alcibiades, whether it is easy or not, 
here is the fact for us all the same : if we have that 
knowledge, we are like to know what pains to take 
over ourselves ; but if we have it not, we never 

ALC. That is so. 

soc. Come then, in what way can the same-in- 
itself ^ be discovered ? For thus we may discover 
what Ave are ourselves ; whereas if we remain in 
ignorance of it we must surely fail. 

ALC. Rightly spoken. 

soc. Steady, then, in Heaven's name ! To whom 
are you talking now ? To me, are you not .'' 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And I in turn to you ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Then the talker is Socrates } 

ALC. To be sure. 

soc. And the hearer, Alcibiades .^ 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And Socrates uses speech in talking .'' 

ALC. Of course. 

behind the shifting objects of sense related to it through its 
influence or impress. Cf. below, 130 d. 


2n. To 8e SiaXeyeadai /cat ro Xoyw ;(pryo-^ai 
ravrov ttov /caAets"- 

AAK. Yldvv ye. 

2n. '0 8e xpojixeuos Kal a> )(prJTai ovk aAAo; 

AAK. Ilios Xdyeis; 

2n. "Q.aTT€p aKVTOTOfios refjuvei ttov ro/xet /<rat 
ajJiiXrj Kal aXXots opyavois. 

AAK. Nai. 

2fl. OuKTow aAAo /iei^ o Tep^vatv /cat )(pa)p,€uos , 
dXXo 8e ot? riixvoyv )(prJTaL; 

AAK. rio)? yap oi»'; 

2fl. *A/)' ow ovTios /cat ot? o Kidaptcrnqs 
Kidapil,€i Koi avros 6 KidapiaTrjg aAAo av etr} ; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. ToOro roivvv aprLwg -qpwrcov, el 6 xP^P'^vos 
D /cat (L ;^jO'^Tat det So/cet ercpov elvai. 

AAK. Ao/cet. 

2X1. Tt OVV (j>tx)p,€V TOV aKVTOTOpbOV ; Tep,V€lV 

opydvoLS fjiovov rj /cat ;\;epcrtV; 

AAK. Kat ;^epo-tV. 

2n. ^prjraL dpa /cat ravrais ; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. *H Kat rot? 6(f)daXp,olg ;^/Dco/xevos' okvto- 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Toj^ 8e ;^pa)/>tevoj' /cat oi? ;\;/)^Tat erepa o/ao- 

AAK. Nat. 

2fl. "Ere/joi/ apa aKuroT6p,os /cat KLdapLarrjs 
E X^^P^^ '^^^ 6(f)6aXp,cbv ots" ipydt^ovrai ; 



soc. And you call talking and using speech the 
same thing, I suppose. 

ALC. To be sure. 

soc. But the user and the thing he uses are 
chfferent, are they not ? 

ALC. How do you mean ? 

soc. For instance, I suppose a shoemaker uses a 
round tool, and a square one, and others, when he 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And the cutter and user is quite diflPerent 
from what he uses in cutting .'' 

ALC. Of course. 

soc. And in the same way what the harper uses 
in harping will be different from the harper himself ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Well then, that is what I was asking just 
now — whether the user and what he uses are 
always, in your opinion, two different things. 

ALC. They are. 

soc. Then what are we to say of the shoemaker ? 
Does he cut with his tools only, or with his hands 
as well .'' 

ALC. With his hands as well. 

soc. So he uses these also ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Does he use his eyes, too, in his shoe-making ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And we admit that the user and what he 
uses are different things ? 

ALC. Yes, 

soc. Then the shoemaker and the harper are 
different from the hands and eyes that they use for 
their work ? 



AAK. OatVerai. 

2n. OvKovv Kal navrl ra> CTco/xart -^prjraL 
dvdpojTTOs ; 

AAK. Yidvv ye. 

2n. "Ere/aov 8' t^p' to re xP^^H'^^o^ k^^I' 4> XRW^'-' 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. "Erepot' apa dvdpcoTTos eart rod aiajj-aros 
rov eavrov; 

AAK. "Eoi/cev'. 

2n. Ti ttot' ow o dvdpcoTTos ; 

AAK. OuK e;!^aj Aeyetv. 

2n. "Ep^ets' P'ev ovv, on ye ro tco acojJiaTL XP^' 

AAK. Nat. 
130 2n. '^H ovv aAAo n ;^p7)Tat ayroi ^ i^^XV > 

AAK. Ou/c aAAo. 

sn. OvKovv dpxovaa; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Kai /X'i7v rdSe ye oi/nat ovheva dv aAAcL)? otTj- 

AAK. To TToZov ; 

2n. Mt] oj) rpiojv ev ye n elvai rov dvOpcorrov. 

AAK. TtVcor; 

2n. ^y^''?'^ "^ acofia r} avvafji(f)6r€pov, ro oXov 
Tovro . 

AAK. Tt /XTyp'; 

2fl. 'AAAo, fj.r]v avro ye ro rov acxjjxaros dp^ov 
(LfMoXoy^aa/xev dvOpojirov elvai; 
B AAK. 'Q/xoAoyTjo-a/xev. 

2fi. *Ap' ovv CTcu/xa avro avrov dpx^i; 

AAK. OvSa/Liaj?. 

2n. "Apxeadat yap avro el-nop.ev. 


ALC. Apparently. 

soc. And man uses his whole body too ? 
ALC. To be sure. 

soc. And we said that the user and what he uses 
are different ? 
ALC. Yes. 

soc. So man is different from his own body ? 
ALC. It seems so. 
soc. Then whatever is man ? 
ALC. I cannot say. 

soc. Oh, but you can^that he is the user of the 
ALC. Yes. 

soc. And the user of it must be the soul ? 
ALC. It must, 
soc. And ruler ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Now, here is a remark from which no one, I 
think, can dissent. 

ALC. What is it ? 

soc. That man must be one of three things. 

ALC. What things ? 

soc. Soul, body, or both together as one whole. 

ALC. Very well. 

soc. But yet we have admitted that what actually 
rules the body is man ? 

ALC. We have. 

soc. And does the body rule itself ? 

ALC. By no means. 

soc. Because we have said that it is ruled. 



AAK. Nat. 

2n. OvK av 817 rovTO ye etTj o ^i^Toy/xet'. 

AAK. Ov/c eoLKev. 

2n. 'AAA' apa TO crvvaiJi<f>6r€pov rov awjJiaTOS 
dpx^i', xal ecTTt Srj tovto dvdpoiTTos ; 

AAK. "Ictcds' hi]ra. 

2n. riavTCDv ye rjKiara' {jltj yap avvap)(ovTOS rov 
erepov ouSe/xta ttov fir]')(avr] to avvap.(f)6T€pov ap)(€LU. 

AAK. ^Opdcos. 

C 2n. 'ETreiSii] 8e oyVe craj/xa oyVe to avvafM(f)6- 
repov iartv dvdpcoTros, AetTreTai, olp,aL, ^ /nTjSei/ 
auTO eivat, ■^ et77ep Tt eo-Ti, /XTjSev aAAo toj^ dvdpo>- 
TTOv avp-^aiveiv 7) ilfV)(r}v. 

AAK. Ko/ii87y yLtei/ ow. 

2n. "Eti ow Tt aa^iarepov Set a.TToSeixdrjvo.i 
aoL, on rj ^vx^] ^arw dvdpcoTTOs; 

AAK. Ma At", aAAd LKavojs p.01 So/cet ep^et^. 

2n. Et 8e ye /xi7 aKpi^ws aAAo, /cat fxerpLOig, 
€^apK€L rjfjiiv' aKpL^cog p.€v yap t6t€ elao/jLcda , 
D oVav evpcDjxev o vvv Srj TTap'qXdofiev 8ta to ttoXXtjs 
elvai crKeifjecos- 

AAK. Tt tovto; 

2fi. *0 a/yrt ovtoj ttcos ipprjOrj, otl TrpciJTOV ff/ce- 
7TT€ov €irj avTO TO avTO- vvv Se dvTi tou avTov avTO 
eKaoTov €aK€p,p.eda 6 Tt ecTt. /cat icto)? e^ap/ce'aet- 
ou ya/3 TToy KvpicoTepov ye ouSet' ap' rip,a)v avTcov 
(f>'qaaLiJ,ev rj Tr]v ipvx'QV. 

AAK. Oy 8^Ta. 

2fl. Ou/cow /caAct)? ex^'' o^''"^ vo//.t^etv, e/ze /cat 

1 C/. 129 B. 


ALc. Yes. 

soc. Then that cannot be what we are seeking. 

ALC. It seems not. 

soc. Well then, does the combination of the two 
rule the body, so that we are to regard this as man ? 

ALC. Perhaps it is. 

soc. The unhkehest thing in the world : for if one 
of the two does not share in the rule, it is quite 
inconceivable that the combination of the two can 
be ruling. 

ALC. You are right. 

soc. But since neither the body nor the combina- 
tion of the two is man, we are reduced, I suppose, to 
this : either man is nothing at all, or if something, 
he turns out to be nothing else than soul. 

ALC. Precisely so. 

soc. Well, do you require some yet clearer proof 
that the soul is man .'' 

ALC. No, I assure you : I tliink it is amply proved. 

soc. And if it is tolerably, though not exactly, 
we are content ; exact knowledge will be ours later, 
when we have discovered the thing that we passed 
over just now because it would involve much 

ALC. What is that ? 

soc. The point suggested in that remark a moment 
ago,^ that we should first consider the same-in- 
itself ; but so far, instead of the same, we have been 
considering what each single thing is in itself. And 
perhaps we shall be satisfied with that : for surely 
we cannot say that anything has more absolute 
possession of ourselves than the soul. 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. And it is proper to take the view that you 



ffe TTpoao^iiXeiv aAArjAots' rot? Xoyois ;^p6u/x€V0U? 
rr] ifivxfj TTpos r-i]v ifjvxy]v; 
AAK. Jlavu fjiev ovv. 
E 2n. Tour dpa 'qv o kol oXiycp efMTrpoadev e'LTTOfxev, 
on HcoKparrjg 'AA/ct^taSTj StaAeyerat Aoyoj XP^I^^' 

VOS, OV TTpos TO GOV TTpoaWTTOV , d)S koiK€V , aAAa TTpos 

rov AXKL^LaSrjV TTOLOvfjievos rovs Xoyovs' rovro 8' 
iarlv -q tpv^T]- 

AAK. "E/xotye 8oK€t. 

5n. ^u;^!^!^ dpa rjfjids KeXevet yvcopiaai, 6 Ittl- 
rdrroiv yvcovai eavrov. 

131 AAK. "EoLK€V. 

2n. "Oar IS dpa rd>v rov acofiaros n yLyvojoKei, 
ra avrov aXX' ov^ avrov eyvojicev. 

AAK. Ovrcos. 

2n. OySets" dpa roJv larpdJv iavrov yiyvcoaKet,, 
Kad^ oaov larpos, ouSe rdjv TraiBorpL^cov, Kad* 
oaov TTaihorpl^-qs. 

AAK. OvK eoiKev. 

2fl. IIoAAoiJ dpa Seovatv ol yecopyol Kal ol dXXoi 

hrjpnovpyol yiyvdyaKeiv iavrovs. ovhk yap ra eav- 

ru)V ovroL ye, to? eoiKev, dAA' en TToppctrrepo) rcbv 

eavrdJv Kara ye rds re^yas a? exovat,' ra yap rov 

B awfjuaros yiyvcoaKovaiv , ols rovro depaTreverai. 

AAK. ^AXrjdrj XeyeLS- 

2n. Et dpa au)(f)pocrvvr] earl ro iavrov yiyva>- 
aK€iv, ovSels rovrcov adi<f>paiv Kara rrjv rexyrjv. 

AAK. Ov p.oL hoKeZ. 

2n. Ata ravra hrj Kal ^dvavaoi avrat at rexyai 
boKovaiv elvai Kal ovk dvSpos dyadov puid'qp.ara. 

AAK. rTai^y [xev ovv. 



and I are conversing with each other, while we make 
use of words, by intercourse of soul with soul ? 

ALc. Quite so. 

soc. Well, that is just what we suggested a little 
while ago — that Socrates, in using words to talk with 
Alcibiades, is holding speech, not with yoiu- face, it 
would seem, but %nth Alcibiades — that is, with liis 

ALC. I beheve so. 

soc. Then he who enjoins a knowledge of oneself 
bids us become acquainted ^\ith the soul. 

ALC. So it seems. 

soc. And anyone who gets to know something 
belonging to the body knows the things that are his, 
but not himself. 

ALC. That is so. 

soc. Then no physician, in so far as he is a physician, 
knows himself, nor does any trainer, in so far as he is 
a trainer, 

ALC. It seems not. 

soc. And farmers, and craftsmen generally, are 
far from knowing themselves. For these people, it 
would seem, do not even know their ovm things, but 
only things still niore remote than their own things, 
in respect of the arts which they follow ; since they 
know but the things of the body, with which it is 

ALC. That is true. 

soc. So if knowing oneself is temperance, none of 
these people is temperate in respect of his art. 

ALC. None, I agree. 

soc. And that is why these arts are held to be 
sordid, and no acquirements for a good man. 

ALC. Quite so. 



2n. OvKovv ttolXlv ogtls av acofia depavevei, ra 
iavrov oAA' ovx avrov OepaTrevet; 
AAK. KtvSyveyet. 

2n. "Oaris 8e ye to. ■)(^p-qpLaTa, ovd* iavrov ovre 
C TO. iavrov, aAA' ert TToppcorepco rwv iavrov; 
AAK. "E/Ltotye So/cet. 
2n. Oi) TO, avrov dpa en rrparrei 6 ■)(prjp,ariarr]s • 

AAK. ^OpB(x)S. 

2n. El apa ris yeyovev ipaarrjs rod 'AXkl- 
jStaSou aiojjiaros, ovk 'AA/ci^taSou rjpdadrj, dAAa 
TtP'o? Toii' ^AXkl^lolSov. 

AAK. ^AXrjOrj Aeyei?. 

2n. "Oo-Ti? 8e crou t^s" ^^XV^ ^P9-> 

AAK. ^AvdyKrj <f)aiv€raL ck rov Xoyov. 

2n. Ou/cow o /Ltev Tou acofxarog aov epcov, 
eTTei^T] Aiyyei dvOovv, dTnchv oix^rai,; 

AAK. OatVerai. 
D 2n. *0 8e ye tt^? 4'^X^^ ipcbv ovk drreiGiv, eoj? 
av €771 TO peAriov try; 

AAK. EiKO? ye. 

2n. Oy/cow eyct> et/ii o ou/c aTrtcov dAAa irapa- 
p.ivo}v Xriyovros rov acofiaros, rdjv aAAcov a7T- 

AAK. EJ5 ye TTOioiv, tS Sco/c/aare?* /cai /iT7 (xtt- 

2n. UpoOvfxov roivvv on KdXXiaros etvat. 

AAK. 'AAAd TrpodvfxnjaofxaL. 

2n. *n? OUTO) ye aoi ix^f ovr^ iyived' , c5? 
E eoLKev, ^ AXKt^idhr] rih KAeiviou ipaarrjg ovr^ eariv 


soc. Then once again, whoever tends his body 
tends his own things, but not himself ? 

ALC. It looks rather like it. 

soc. But whoever tends his money tends neither 
himself nor his own things, but only things yet more 
remote than his own things ? 

ALC. I agree. 

soc. So that the money-maker has ceased to do 
his own business. 

ALC. Correct. 

soc. And if anyone is found to be a lover of 
Alcibiades' body, he has fallen in love, not with 
Alcibiades, but -tWth something belonging to 
Alcibiades ? 

ALC. That is true. 

soc. Your lover is rather he who loves your 
soul ? 

ALC. He must be, apparently, by our argument. 

soc. And he Mho loves your body quits you, and 
is gone, as soon as its bloom is over .'' 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. Whereas he who loves your soul \\i\\ not quit 
you so long as it makes for what is better } 

ALC. So it seems. 

soc. And I am he who does not quit you, but 
remains with you when your body's prime is over, 
and the rest have departed. 

ALC. Yes, and I am glad of it, Socrates, and hope 
you Mill not go. 

soc. Then you must endeavour to be as handsome 
as you can. 

ALC. Well, I shall endeavour. 

soc. You see how you stand : Alcibiades, the son 
of Cleinias, it seems, neither had nor has any lover 



dAA' rj €is fiovog, /cat ovrog ayaTTTjTos', TiajKpdrrjs 6 
Hoi(j)poviaKov Kol ^aLvaperrjg. 

AAK. 'AXrjdrj. 

2n. OvKovv €(f>7]a6a aynKpov <j)6i]vai /xe npoaeX- 
Oovra aoL, iirel Trporepos civ fioi TrpoaeXdelv, ^ov- 
Xojxevos TTvdiadai, hi 6 ri fiovos ovk dTrepxofiai; 

AAK. ^Hi' yap ovTcos- 

2X1. TovTO rolvvv a'inov, on fxovos epaarrjs rjv 
GO'S, ol S a'AAot rix)v aojv rd Se ad Ar^yei ojpas, 
132 av 8' apx?? dvdelv. kol vvv ye dv fir) Sia(f)dapfjs 
VTTO Tov 'AOrjvalojv S'^fxov koI ala)(l,u)V y^vrj, ov 
fir) CT6 aTToXiTTOj. TOVTO ydp Srj fidXiara iyw <f)o- 
^ovfiai, fir) SrjfiepaaTrjs rjfilv yevofievos Sia(f)dapfjs' 
TToXXol ydp rjSr) /cat dya^ot avTO TreTTovdaaiv 'A^tj- 
vaiuiv. evvpoacoTTos ydp 6 tov fxeyaX-qTopos Si)fiog 
Epe;^^ecL»s" ■ dAA arrobvPTa )(prj avTOV dedaaadaL' 
evXa^ov o6v ttjv evXd^eiav r)v iycb Xeyoj. 

AAK. TtVa; 
B 2n. Tvfivaaai TrpwTov, tS /xa/cdpte, Kat jttd^e d 
Set fiadovTa tevat eTrt Td Trjs TroAeo)?, rrpoTepov Se 
fir), tj/' dXe^L^dpfiaKa e^cov 'irf's /cat firfSev rrddr)? 

AAK. Eu fioi So/cet? Ae'yeti', cb Sca/cpares" dAAd 
TTCipco i^rfyelaOai, ovtlv^ dv^ Tpoirov emfieXrfdeZfiev 
r)ficbv avTcov. 

2n. OvKovv ToaovTov fiev r)fuv et? to rrpoadev 
ireTTepavTaL' o ydp iafiev, errLeiKcos (hfioXoyrjTai' 
€(f)o^ovfi€6a Se fir) tovtov a(^aXivT€S Xddwfiev 
cTepov TLVOS eTTLfieXofievoi, dAA' ov)( "qficov. 

AAK. "Eart raura. 

^ 8vTiv' &.V Bekker: bvnva mss. 
^ Quoted from Homer, 11. ii. 547. 


except one only, and that a cherished one, Socrates, 
the son of Sophroniscus and Phaenarete. 

ALc. True. 

soc. And you said that I only just anticipated you 
in coming to you, for otherwise you would have come 
to me first for the purpose of inquiring why I am the 
only one who does not leave you ? 

ALC. Yes, that was so. 

soc. Then the reason was that I was the only lover 
oi you, whereas the rest were lovers of what is yours ; 
and that is losing its charm, while you are beginning 
to bloom. So now, if you are not blighted and 
deformed by the Athenian people, I shall never 
forsake you. For my chiefest fear is of your being 
blighted by becoming a lover of the people, since 
many a good Athenian has come to that ere now. 
For fair of face is '• the people of great-hearted 
Erechtheus " ^ ; but you should get a view of it 
stripped : so take the precaution that I recommend. 

ALC. What is it } 

soc. Exercise yourself first, my wonderful friend, 
in learning what you ought to know before entering 
on politics ; you must wait till you have learnt, in 
order that you may be armed with an antidote and 
so come to no harm. 

ALC. Your advice seems to me good, Socrates ; but 
try to explain in what way we can take pains over 

soc. Well, we have made one step in advance ; 
for there is a pretty fair agreement now as to what 
we are, whereas we were afraid we might fail of this 
and take pains, without knowing it, over something 
other than ourselves. 

ALC. That is so, 



C 2n. Kat /xeTO. tovto Stj on Trjs *pvx^^ eTnfxeXrj- 
reov Kal els tovto fiXeiTTeov. 

AAK. AryAov. 

2n. TiCo/JLOLTCov 8e Kal ■)(pT]yi.a.T(tiV Trjv emyiiXeiav 
CTepois TTapaSoTeov. 

AAK. Tt fxrjv; 

2n. Ttv ovv av TpoTTOv yvolrjfMCi' avTO^ ivap- 
yeffrara; CTretS?} tovto yvovTes, <Ls eoLKev, Kal 
Tjfids avTovs yvoiooixeda. dpa npos Oc'jov ev 
XeyovTos ov vvv hrj €p,vi]adr]p.€V tov AeA^iKoi; 
ypd/JifiaTos ov crvvLe/Jiev; 

AAK. To TTOLOV Tt Siavoovjxevo? Ae'yeis", co Scti- 
D 2n. 'Eyoj aoL ^pdaio, 6 ye VTTOTrrevoj Xeyeiv Kal 
(Tvp.^ovXeveLV rjixlv tovto to ypafifia. KLvBvvevet 
yap ovSe TToXXaxov eii'at TTapdhetyp,a avTov, oAAa 
Kara ttjv oj/tiv p,6vov. 

AAK. no)? TOVTO Xeyeis; 

2n. S/coTTei /cat av. el tj/jlcov tco o/x/xari axrirep 
avdpojTTW avfx^ovXevov etrrev Ihe aavTov, ttcDs av 
V7TeXa^op.ev tl Trapaivelv ; dpa ov-)(l et? tovto 
^XeTTetv, els o ^XeTTCDV 6 6(f>6aX[M6s ejxeXXev avTov 

AAK. At^Aoi^. 

2n. ^vvoajfiev 8t], eis tl ^XeTTOVTes twv ovtcjov 
E €K€Lv6 Te opcvfMev dfia av Kal 'qp.ds avTovs ; 

AAK. ArjXov §7^, d> YiWKpares, otl els KaTonTpd 
T€ Kal ra ToiavTa. 

2n. ^Opd(x)S Xeyeis. ovkovv Kal toj 6(f>0aXpLO) 
(h opcofxev eveoTL <tl>^ tcov toiovtcov; 

AAK. Udvv ye. 

^ ai}r6 SchleJermacher : aird mss. 


soc. And the next step, we see, is to take care of 
the soul, and look to that. 

ALC. Clearly. 

soc. While handing over to others the care of our 
bodies and our coffers. 

ALC. Quite so. 

soc. Then how shall we obtain the most certain 
knowledge of it ? For if we know that, it seems we 
shall know ourselves also. In Heaven's name, do we 
fail to comprehend the wise words of the Delphic 
inscription, which we mentioned just now .'* 

ALC. With what intent do you say that, Socrates .'' 

soc. I will tell you what I suspect to be the real 
ad\ice which the inscription gives us. I rather think 
there are not many illustrations of it to be found, but 
only in the case of sight. 

ALC. What do you mean by that ? 

soc. Consider in your turn : suppose that, instead 
of speaking to a man, it said to the eye of one of us, 
as a piece of advice — " See thyself," — hmv should 
we apprehend the meaning of the admonition ? 
Would it not be, that the eye should look at that by 
looking at which it would see itself ? 

ALC. Clearly. 

soc. Then let us think what object there is any- 
where, by looking at which we can see both it and 

ALC. Why, clearly, Socrates, mirrors and things of 
that sort. 

soc. Quite right. And there is also something 
of that sort in the eye that we see with .'' 

ALC. To be siu-e. 

2 T. add. F. \. Wolf. 

VOL. VIll P 209 


2n. ^KvvevorjKas ovv on rod e/x^SAeVovros' et? 
rov 6(f)6aXiji6v TO TrpoacoTTOv c/x^atverai iv rfj rod 
133 KaravTiKpv oifjei wanep iv KaroTTTpw, o Srj /cat 
Koprjv KaXovfjiev, ethcoXov 6v n rov ip-^XerrovTos ; 

AAK. 'AXrjdrj XeycLs. 

2n. ^0(f>6aXp.6s oipa o(f)daX[ji,6v de(x)p.€vos, koI 
ip.pXe7Ta)v els rovro OTrep ^eXnarov avrov /cat (S 
opa, ovrcos aiv avrov tSot. 

AAK. ^DatVerat. 

2n. Et 8e ye els aXXo rojv rov avOpcvTTOV ^XerroL 
7] rt, rcov ovroiv, TrXrjv els cKelvo cb rovro rvy)(aveL 
op,oLov, ovK oifjeraL eavrov. 
B AAK. *AXr]6rj Xeyeis. 

2n. '0(f>daXp,6s apa el /xe'AAet ISelv eavrov, els 
6<f>daXp,6v avro) ^Xeirreov, /cat rov 6p,p.aros els 
eKelvov rov rorrov, iv <5 rvyxdvet rj 6<f)daXp,ov 
aperrj iyyiyvofMevrj' eari he rovro rrov oiJjls ; 

AAK. Ovrois. 

2fl. *A/>* o^, u) <^iXe 'AXKL^LaSrj, /cat iffvx'q el 
/JieXXet, yvcoaeadai avrrjv, els iffvxrjv avrfj ^Xerrreov, 
/cat ixdXiar^ els rovrov avrrjs rov roirov, iv w iy- 
yiyverai rj ilivx^is dperrj, ao<j)ia, Kal els dXXo J) 
rovro rvyxd-veu 6p.oiov 6v ; 

AAK. "E/xoiye So/cei, cS TitoKpares. 
C 2Q. "EiXOfiev ovv eltrelv, 6 ri iarl rijs 4*^X1^ 
Oeiorepov rj rovro, rrepi o ro elBevai re /cat <f)povelv 
iariv ; 

AAK. OvK €XOp.€V. 

2n. Tw deo) dpa rovr eoiKev avrrjs, Kai ris eis" 

* The Greek Kdpi] and the Latin pupilla both meant " little 


soc. And have you observed that the face of the 

person who looks into another's eye is shown in the 
optic confronting him, as in a mirror, and we call this 
the pupilji for in a sort it is an image of the person 
looking ? 

ALc. That is true. 

soc. Tlien an eye viewing another eye, and looking 
at the most perfect part of it, the thing wherewith 
it sees, will thus see itself. 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. But if it looks at any other thing in man or 
at anything in nature but what resembles this,^ it 
will not see itself. 

ALc. That is true. 

soc. Then if an eye is to see itself, it must look at 
an eye, and at that region of the eye in which the 
virtue of an eye is found to occur ; and this, I 
presume, is sight. 

ALC. That is so. 

soc. And if the soul too, my dear Alcibiades, is to 
know herself, she must surely look at a soul, and 
especially at that region of it in which occurs the 
virtue of a soul — wisdom, and at any other part of 
a soul which resembles this .'' 

ALC. I agree, Socrates. 

soc. And can we find any part of the soul that we 
can call more divine than this, which is the seat of 
knowledge and thought ? 

ALC. We cannot. 

soc. Then this part of her resembles God, and 

girl" or "doll," and were used to indicate the dark centre of 
the eye in wliich a tiny image can be seen reflected. 

* i.e. it must look at the pupil of a man's eve, or at what 
is comparable to that " perfect part " in other things, 



rovTO pXeTTCov /cat ttoLv to deiov yuovs, [deov re Kal 
(f)p6vrjaiv] ,^ ovTOj /cat iavrov av yvoL-q jLtaAtara. 

AAK. OatVerat. 

2n. To Se yiyvtoaKciv avrov chiioXoyovixev aco- 
(fypoavvrjv etrai; 

AAK. Ilav'i' ye. 

2n. *Ap' ow {jbTj yiyvuxjKovres rjfJids avTOVS 
fji-qhe acj^poves ovres SwaL/jueO^ dv etSeVat ra 
r)iJ,€T€pa avraJv /ca/ca re /cat dyadd; 

AAK. Kat Tra)? av to£;to yevotro, o) TiiOKpares ; 
D Sfl. 'ASwaroi/ yap taco? aot ^aiverai p.r] yiyviL- 
OKOvra AA/ctjStaSr^v ra 'AA/ctjSta8oy ytyvcua/ceiv ort 
AA/cijStaSoy eariv. 

AAK. 'ASwarov fjievTOL vrj Ata. 

2n. Oi)S' a/3a to. rjfjberepa ort rjiMerepa, el /atjS' 
T^/xa? ayrou?; 

AAK. ncD? ydp; 

2n. Et 8' apa fJbrjSe^ rd rjnerepa, ovSe rd rcbv 
Tjfjierepayv ; 

AAK. Ov (j)aiverai. 

2n. OvK dpa TTOUV tl opdms (hp,oXoyovp,ev ofXoXo- 

yovvreg dpri elvai nvag, ot eavrovs fiev ou yiy- 

vutaKovai, rd Se eaurcov, dXXovs 8e rd rcov eavriov. 

eoiKe ydp vdvra ravra elvai /cartSetr evos re /cat 

E jLtta? re)(vr]s, avrov, ra avrov, ra ra>v eavrov. 

AAK. K.tvSvveveL. 

2n. "Ocrris 8e rd avrov dyvoel, /cat rd rcov dXXcov 
TTOv dv dyvool Kard ravrd. 

AAK. Tt fi'qv; 

^ 0e6p re Kal (ppdvrjffiv ova. Olympiodorus. 
2 fiTjS^ Stobaeus : om. mss. 

1 Above, 131 B. 


whoever looks at this, and comes to know all that is 
di\ine, will gain thereby the best knowledge of 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. And self-knowledge we admitted to be 

ALC. To be sure. 

soc. So if we have no knowledge of ourselves and 
no temperance, shall we be able to know our own 
belongings, good or e\il ? 

ALC. How can that be, Socrates .'' 

soc. For I expect it seems imj)ossible to you that 
without kno^ving Alcibiades you should know that 
the belongings of Alcibiades are in fact his. 

ALC. Impossible indeed, upon my word. 

soc. Nor could we know that our belongings are 
ours if we did not even know ourselves ? 

ALC. How could we ? 

soc. And so, if we did not so much as know our 
belongings, we could not know the belongings of 
our belongings either ? 

ALC. Apparently not. 

soc. Then we were not quite correct in admitting 
just now that there are people who, without knowing 
themselves, know their belongings, wliile others 
know their belongings' belongings. For it seems to 
be the function of one man and one art to discern all 
three — himself, his belongings, and the belongings of 
his belongings. 

ALC. It looks like it. 

soc. And anyone who is ignorant of his belongings 
will be similarly ignorant, I suppose, of the belong- 
ings of others. 

ALC. Quite so. 



2n. OvKovv el ra tcov dXXcov, /cat rd rcov TToXecov 

AAK. ^AvdyKYj. 

2n. OvK dp' dv yevoLTo 6 tolovtos dvrjp ttoXl- 


AAK. Ou Srjra. 

2n. Ov firjv ou8' OLKovofMiKos ye. 
134 AAK. Ov Srjra. 

2n. OuSe eiorerat o ri Trpdrrei.. 
AAK. Ou ydp ow. 

2n. *0 Se /LiT^ €i8ct>s" ovx dpLaprrjaeTaL ; 
AAK. ndyy ye. 

5n. 'E^a/Aa/aTavcDV 8e oi) KaKcos irpd^ei iSt'a re 
/cai hrjixocria; 

AAK. ricu? 8' ou; 

2fl. Ka/coJS" 8e TTparrwv ovk ddXios; 

AAK. ll(f)6hpa ye. 

2n. Tt 8' ots" OTTOS' TT/adrret; 

AAK. Kat OUTOt. 

2n. Ou/c dpa olov re, idv p.ri ti? aoj(f)poiv /cat 
dya^o? 27> evSatjjiova eivat. 

AAK. Oj);^ ofdv re. 
B 2n. Oc dpa /ca/cot tcDv dvdpcjTTCov dOXioi. 

AAK. ll(f>6hpa ye. 

2n. Ou/c dpa oj3S' o TrAouTT^CTas' d^AtoTTyTOS' 
dTTaAAdTTerai, dAA' d aco^povqaas . 

AAK. CJatVerat. 

2n. Ou/c dpa Tet;)(d)v ou86 rpi'qpoiv ovhe veojpicov 
Seovrai at TrdAets", tS 'AA/ct^tdSry, et p,eXXovaLv 
evSaifMoviqaeLV, ovBe TrXiqdovs ov^e jxeyedovs dvev 

AAK. Oi) jJievroL. 


soc. And if ignorant of others' affairs, he will be 
ignorant also of the affairs of states. 

KLC. He must be. 

soc. Then such a man can never be a statesman. 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. No, nor an economist either. 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. Nor will he know what he is doing. 

ALC. No, I agree. 

soc. And will not he who does not know make 
mistakes .'' 

axjc. To be sure. 

soc. And when he makes mistakes, will he not do 
ill both in private and in pubhc .'' 

ALC. Of course. 

soc. And doing iU he will be wretched ? 

ALC. Yes, very. 

soc. And what of those for whom he is doing so ? 

ALC. They will be wretched also. 

soc. Then it is impossible to be happy if one is not 
temperate and good. 

ALC. Impossible. 

soc. So it is the bad men who are wretched. 

ALC. Yes, very. 

soc. And hence it is not he who has made himself 
rich that is relieved of \vretchedness, but he who 
has made himself temperate. 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. So it is not walls or warships or arsenals that 
cities need, Alcibiades, if they are to be happy, nor 
numbers, nor size, without virtue. 

ALC. No, indeed. 



2n. Et 8r) [xeXXeis ra rrjs noXeois TTpd^etv opdcos 
Kal KaXojs, dperrjs crot fieraSoreov rots TroAtrat?. 

AAK. IloJs yap ov ; 
C 2n. AwatTo 8' dv tls /zeraStSdvat o ^-i^ ^X*'*' 

AAK. Kat TTcDs"; 

2n. Avro) apa aol irpcorov KTTjTeov dperi^v, Kal 
aAAo) og fxeXXei p,rj ISia [xovov avrov re /cat ru>v 
avTov dp^eiv Kal eTTLfieX-qcreaOaL, dXXd TToXeoJS Kal 
ruiv rrjs TToXeojs. 

AAK. AXrjdij Xeyeis. 

5n. OvK dpa i^ovmav aoi oi)S' dp)(r]v rrapa- 
GKevaareov aavro) Troieiv 6 tl dv ^ovXtj, ovbe rfj 
TToAei, aAAd SiKaioavvTjv kol aco(j>poavvriv . 

AAK. Waiver at. 
D 2n. AtKaloJS fM€v yap Trpdrrovres Kal aco(f)p6va)S 
av re Kal -q ttoXcs d€0(f>i,XdJs TTpd^ere. 

AAK. Ei/cds" ye. 

Sn. Kat OTT€p ye ev rols Trpocrdev iXeyofxev, els ro 
delov Kat XafMnpov opdjvres irpd^ere. 

AAK. OatVerat. 

2n. AAAo. p^rjv evravdd ye ^Xenovres vp,ds re 
avrovs Kal rd vfierepa dyadd Karoipecrde Kal 
yvcoaeade . 

AAK. Nat. 

2fl. OvKovv opddJs re Kal ev npd^ere ; 

AAK. Nat. 
E 2n. AAAd jJLTjv ovr oj ye npdrrovras Vfids edeXco 
eyyvijaaadai iq p,r]V evSaiixovqaetv . 

AAK. Aa^aXrjS yap el eyyvrjr'qs. 

sn. ASlkojs 8e Trpdrrovres, els ro ddeov Kal ro 
(TKoreivov ^XeTTOvres , cos rd elKora, 6p.oLa rovrois 
TTpd^ere dyvoovvres vfids avrovs. 


80C. And if you are to manage the city's affairs 
properly and honourably, you must impart virtue to 
the citizens. 

ALc. Of course. 

soc. But could one possibly impart a thing that 
one had not ? 

ALC. How, indeed ? 

soc. Then you or anyone else who is to be governor 
and curator, not merely of himself and his belongings 
in private, but of the state and its affairs, must first 
acquire virtue himself. 

ALC. That is true. 

soc. Hence it is not licence or authority for doing 
what one pleases that you have to secure to yourself 
or the state, but justice and temperance. 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. For you and the state, if you act justly and 
temperately, will act so as to please God. 

ALC. Naturally. 

soc. And, as we were saying in what went before, 
you will act with your eyes turned on what is divine 
and bright. 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. Well, and looking thereon you will behold 
and know both yourselves and your good. 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And so you will act ariglit and well ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Well now, if you act in this way, I am ready 
to warrant that you must be happy. 

ALC. And I can rely on your warranty. 

soc. But if you act unjustly, with your eyes on the 
godless and dark, the probability is that your acts will 
resemble these through your ignorance of yourselves, 



AAK. "EiOlK€V. 

2n. ^0.1 yap dv, w ^iXe 'AA/ci^ta8rj, i^ovaia 
fiev ri TTOLelv o jSouAerat, vovv 8e /xt] ^X0> '^^ '^^ cIkos 
av/jL^aLveiv, IhiiOTr^ •^ /cat TroAet; olov voaovvn 
i^ovaias ovar]s Spdv o ^ovXerat, vovv larpiKov p.r) 
135 ^X°^'^''> TvpawovvTL Be cos firjSe €7tl7tXt]ttol tls 
avra>, ri to ovfi^rjcrofievov ; dp" ovx, u)S to cIkos, 
8La<j)9aprjvaL to crcD/xa; 

AAK. "AX-qdrj XeyeLS. 

2n. Tt S' iv vrjt, el Tip e^ovaia elrj TTOieiv o SoKet, 
vov Te Kai apeTTJs KvPepvrjTiKrjg ioTeprjp.evo), 
Kadopas d dv avp,^aLrj avTcp re /cat rot? ovvvavTaLS ; 

AAK. "Kycoye, otl ye diroXoivTo rravres dv. 

5n. OvKovv ojaavTCxis ev TrdAet re /cat Trdoais 
ap)(aLs /cat e^ovaiais dnoXeLTTop^evais dpeTrjs eTrerai 
g TO KaKcJs TTpaTTeiv ; 

AAK. "AvdyK-q. 

2n. OvK dpa Tvpavviha XP1> ^ dpicrre 'AA/ci- 
^idS-q, TTapaoKevd^eadai ovd" avTcp ovTe rij TToXei, 
el /xeAAere evbaipLOvetv , dAA' dpeT'^v. 

AAK. 'AXr^drj Xeyeis. 

2n. Uplv 8e ye dpeTTjv ^xeiv, to dpx^adai, 
dfieivov VTTO Tov ^eXriovos ^ to dp^eiv dvBpi, ov 
p,6vov TraiSt. 

AAK. C>atVeTat. 

2n. OvKovv TO ye dp-eivov /cat KaXXiov; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. To 8c KaXXiov TTpeTTOiheoTepov ; 

AAK. naJ? 8' ov; 
C 2n. npeWt apa TUi /ca/co) 8ouAei;€«'* dp.eivov 



ALC. That is probable. 

soc. For if a man, my dear Alcibiades, is at liberty 
to do what he pleases, but is lacking in mind, what 
is the probable result to him personally, or to the 
state as well ? For instance, if he is sick and at 
liberty to do what he pleases — without a medical 
mind, but ^vith a despot's power which prevents any- 
one from even reproving him — what will be the 
result ? Will not his health, in all hkelihood, be 
shattered ? 

ALC. That is trueJ 

soc. Again, in a ship, if a man were at liberty to 
do what he chose, but were devoid of mind and 
excellence in navigation, do you perceive what must 
happen to him and his fellow-sailors ? 

ALC. I do : they must all perish. 

soc. And in just the same way, if a state, or any 
office or authority, is lacking in excellence or virtue, 
it will be overtaken by failure } 

ALC. It must. 

soc. Then it is not despotic power, my admirable 
Alcibiades, that you ought to secure either to your- 
self or to the state, if you would be happy, but \irtue. 

ALC. That is true. 

soc. And before getting ^^rtue, to be governed 
by a superior is better than to govern, for a man as 
well as a child. 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. And the better is also nobler ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And the nobler more becoming ? 

ALC. Of course. 

soc. Then it becomes a bad man to be a slave, 
since it is better. 



AAK. Nat. 

2n. AovXonpeTreg apa rj /ca/cta. 

AAK. OatVerat. 

2n. 'EAcu^epoTrpeTres' Se t] ape-n^. 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. Oi)/<:ow (fievyeiv XPV> ^ eralpe, ttjv SouAo- 

AAK. MaAtCTTCt ye, cS ScoK-pares". 

2n. Alo-ddvr) Se vw 1760? ^X^^^ > iXevOepo- 
irpeTTCJS y] ov; 

AAK. AoKO) jxoL /cat fidXa a(f>6hpa aladdveadai. 

2n. OtCT^a oi)v, TTOJ? a7TO(f>ev^rj rovro to vrept ere 
vw; tva p.7) ovopid^cofiev avro inl KaXoJ dvhpl. 
D AAK. "Eycoye. 

2n. Dais'; 

AAK. 'Eav ^ovXj] av, CO Sco/cpares". 

2n. Ou KaAcD? Ae'yet?, cu ' AA/ctjStaSrj . 

AAK. 'AAAa 77-0)? XP""? Ae'yetv; 

2n. "Ort eav ^eo? edeXj]. 

AAK. Ae'yo) Sry. /<:at Trpoy rourots' fxeinoi rohe 
Xeyoi, oTt KLvSwevaofxev fxera^aXelv to crxVH'^' 
CO YtCxjKpares, ro p,€V aov iyco, ai) 8e roup-dv ou 
yap ecrriv ottcos ov TTaLSaycxjyqaco ere dno rrjaSe 
rijs rjfjLepas, cry 8 utt epoiJ 7ratSaya>y7^(Tj7. 
E 2n. ^n yevi^ate, rreXapyov apa d e'p.d? epo*? ouSei' 
StotVet, et TTapd aoL evveorrevaas epcxjra viroiTTepov 
V7t6 tovtov TrdXiv depaTrevaerai. 

^ waiSaywye^v is used here simply in the sense of " following 
about as personal attendant." 

* It was commonl}' believed that aged storks were fed by 



ALC. Yes. 

soc. So vice is a thing that becomes a slave. 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. And virtue becomes a free man. 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And we should shun, my good friend, all 
slavishness ? 

ALC. Most certainly, Socrates. 

soc. And do you now perceive how you stand } 
Are you on the side of the free, or not ? 

ALC. I think I perceive only too clearly. 

soc. Then do you know how you may escape from 
the condition in which you now find yourself } Let 
us not give it a name, Avhere a handsome person is 
concerned I 

ALC. I do. 

soc. How ? 

ALC. If it be your wish, Socrates. 

soc. That is not well said, Alcibiades. 

ALC. Well, what should I say ? 

soc. If it be God's will. 

ALC. Then I say it. And yet I say this besides, 
that we are hke to make a change in our parts, 
Socrates, so that I shall have yours and you mine. 
For from this day onward it must be the case that I 
am your attendant, and you have me always in 
attendance on you.^ 

soc. Ah, generous friend ! So my love Mill be 
just like a stork ; for after hatching a \nnged love 
in you it is to be cherished in return by its nesthng.^ 

younger storks which they had previously hatched and 



AAK. 'AAAo, ovTws €X€(., Kal ctp^o/xai ye ivrevOcv 
rrjg SiKaLocrvvrjs eVi/ieAecr^at. 

2n. BovXoifjirjv dv ae Kal SiareAeaaf oppoihw 
o€, ov TL TTJ arj (f)va€i, aTnartJov, dAAct rrjv rrjs tto- 
AecD? optov piofxrjv, jx-q ip,ov re /cat aov Kpar-^crr). 



ALC. Well, that is the position, and I shall begin 
here and now to take pains over justice. 

soc. I should like to think you Mill continue to do 
so ; yet I am apprehensive, not from any distrust 
of your nature, but in view of the might of the state, 
lest it overcome both me and you. 





This dialogue was included among the genuine 
works of Plato, about the beginning of our era, by 
Thrasyllus, the scholar and friend of Augustus ; but 
there can be no doubt that it is one of the many 
imitations of Plato's writings which were composed 
in the third and second centuries b.c. Its subject — 
the importance of kno\\ing what one ought to pray 
for — is Socratic enough ; yet the reader who comes 
to it from an authentic work of Plato, though it be 
merely an immature study like the First Alcihiades, 
is soon aware of grievous defects in argumentative 
force and connexion, and must especially remark 
an utter absence of the play of humour with which 
Plato habitually and artfully relieves the onset of 
his master's questioning. The language also, while 
it shows that the author had a considerable know- 
ledge of Plato, is in many points unplatonic. Its 
numerous lapses in structure and diction are well 
exhibited in Stallbaum's introduction and notes : as 
a few examples we may notice here the Greek 
phrases which correspond to " manifestation " (140 b), 
" and so, on the same lines, with the rest " (145 d), 
and " I shall be only too happy to accept " (151 b). 
Yet it is worth while to keep this work, provided 
that its secondary character is recognized, alongside 
the WTitings of Plato ; for although its fitful light is 



merely borrowed from Plato's and Xenophon's 
lively memorials of Socrates, it helps us to fix by 
contrast our conception of the matter and manner 
of those genuine representations. 

The dialogue opens A^ith the question whether 
Alcibiades, who is on his way to a temple, realizes 
the danger of prayer, when one may be unwittingly 
praving for quite the ^^Tong thing, like a madman. 
But madness is only one of the several kinds of 
imprudence or un>\'isdom, which is the general cause 
of such mistakes, and of all misguided ambitions. 
In particular, and above all, " ignorance of the best " 
is the cause of human error. We find that all arts 
and accomplishments are useless or worse, unless 
they are accompanied by knowledge of their right 
and beneficial use ; and, so far, only the few possess 
such helpful knowledge. Alcibiades begins to 
understand the perplexity of prayer, and Socrates 
illustrates with a story the reverent caution of the 
Spartans in the matter. Alcibiades then asks him 
to clear away the mist from his soul, and crowns him 
with a garland. 




8t. II 2fl. Q. AXKiBidSr], dpd ye vpos rov Oeov irpoa- 

p. 138 -t / 1^ I I t r r 

AAK. nai^y jLtev ovv, c5 TioyKpares. 

2n. ^aiVT) ye tol iaKvdpcoTraKevai, re Kal els 
yrjv ^Xeneiv, cu? tl avvvoovjxevos . 

AAK. Kat Tt dv Tt? avvvooZro , cL HcvKpares ; 

2n. Trjv jMeyioT-qv, a> 'AA/ct^iaSTy, avvvoiav, 

B a>s y' ifMol SoKel. eirel (f)epe Trpos Atds", ovk olei, 

Tovs deovs, a. rvyxdvoixev ev^opi^evoi /cat I'Si'a /cat 

hrjixoaia, eviore rovrcov rd p.ev StSovat, ret 8' ov, 

/cat ecmv ols /xev aurcov', kari Se ois ov; 

AAK. Udvv fiev ovv. 

2X1. Oi3/couv 80/cet CTOt TroAAT^? IT po 111)0 eias ye 
TTpoaheladai, ottcos jJir] Xrjaei ns^ avrov evxdfJ-evos 
fieydXa KaKd, Sokwv 8 dyadd, ol 8e deol ruxioatv 
ev ravTYj ovres rfj e^ei, ev f) SiSoaaiv avrol d rig 
€V)(dp.€vos Tvyxdvei; coarrep rov OlSlttovv auTt/ca 
C (fiaalv ev^aadai ;^aA/c(p hieXeaOai rd Trarpwa rovg 
^ \7jff€i Tts Bekker : X^aerat Jiss. 


[or on prayer : " obstetric "] 


soc. Alcibiades, are you on your way to offer a 
prayer to the god ? 

ALC. I am, certainly, Socrates. 

soc. You seem, let me say, to have a gloomy look, 
and to keep your eyes on the ground, as though you 
were pondering something. 

ALC. And what might one ponder, Socrates ? 

soc. The greatest of questions, Alcibiades, as I 
believe. For tell me, in Heaven's name, do you not 
tliink that the gods sometimes grant in part, but in 
part refuse, what we ask of them in our private and 
public prayers, and gratify some people, but not 
others ? 

ALC I do, certainly. 

soc. Then you Avould agree that one should take 
great precautions against falling unawares into the 
error of prating for great e\ils in the behef that 
they are good, while the gods happen to be disposed 
to grant freely what one is prapng for .'' Just as 
Oedipus, they say, suddenly prayed that his sons 
might diWde their patrimony wth the sword : it 



vUls' i^ov avrcp rcov Trapovrcov avrco KaKcjv aTTO- 
rpoTTrjv rtva ev^aadai, erepa Trpog roXs VTrapxovuL 
Karripdro' roiyapovv ravrd re i^ereXdad-q, kul 
€K rovrcxiv aAAa ttoAAo, koL heiva, a n Set Kad 
eKaara. Xiyeiv ; 

AAK. 'AAAa ari) /xeV, a) HcoKpares, fxaivofMcvov 
dvOpojTTOV elprjKa'S' errel ris dv aoi boKel roXfirjaai 
vyiaivcov Toiavr' ev^aadai; 

2n. To jxaivecrdai dpa vrrevavrtov aoi boKcl rco 

AAK. Yidvv fJ,€V ovv. 

D 2n. "A(f>pov€s Be /cat (f)p6vLp,oc Bokovglv dvdpco- 
TTOL elvai TLveg aoi; 

AAK. Etvai [xevroi. 

2n. ^epe Stj, eTTiaKeifjiopieda rives tror eiatv 
ovroi. on p.ev yap elai rives, (hfJioXoyr^rai, d^poves 
re KOI <j>p6vip,oi, KOI jjiaivopievoi erepoi. 

AAK. ' Q.p,oX6yrjrai ydp. 

Zn. "Ert Be vyiaivovres elai rives; 

AAK. Kid IV. 

2n. OvKovv Kal dadevovvres erepoi; 
139 AAK. Wdvv ye. 

Sn. OvKovv ovx oi avroi; 

AAK. Ov ydp. 

2n. ^Ap' ovv /cat erepoi rives eiaiv, ol [x-qBerepa 
rovrcov TreTTovQaaiv ; 

AAK. Ov Brjra. 

2n. ^AvdyKT] ydp earlv dvdpanrov ovra r) voaeiv 
iq jxri voaeiv. 

AAK. "E/Aotye 8o/cet. 



was open to him to pray that his present e\ils might 
by some means be averted, but he invoked others 
in addition to those which he had ah-eady. Where- 
fore not only were those words of his accomphshed, 
but many other dread results therefrom, which I think 
there is no need to recount in detail. 

ALc. But you have instanced a madman, Socrates : 
why, do you suppose that anyone could bring him- 
self, while he was in a sound state, to utter such a 
prayer ? 

sec. Do you regard madness as the opposite of 
wisdom ? 

ALC. Certainly I do. 

soc. And there are some men whom you regard 
as un\nse, and others as mse ? 

ALC. Why, yes. 

soc. Come then, let us consider who these people 
are. We have admitted that some are unwise, some 
wise, and others mad. 

ALC. Yes, we have. 

soc. And again, there are some in sound health ? 

ALC. There are. 

soc. And others also who are in ill-health ? 

ALC. Quite so. 

soc. And they are not the same ? 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. And are there any others besides, who are 
found to be in neither state ? 

ALC. No, to be sure. 

soc. For a human being must needs be either 
sick or not sick. 

ALC. I agree. 



2fl. Tt he; irepi <f)povT]a€a)s Kal a(f)pocrvvr]s 
dpa ye rr)v avrrjv ep^et? av yva)fj,rjv^; 

AAK. Ilcos XeycLS ; 

2n. Et BoKel aoi olov re elvai rj (f)p6vi,fjbov r) 
d(f)pova, rj eon ri 8ta fieaov rpirov Trddos, 6 TTOteZ 
B Tov avdpcoTTOv p-riTe (f)p6vi,p,ov pnqre d<f)pova; 

AAK. Oi5 Si]ra. 

2n. AvdyKT] dpa iarl ro erepov rovrcov rreTTov- 

AAK. "E/xoiye hoKel. 

2n. OvKovv fMefivrjcrai ojJLoXoyqaag VTvevavriov 
€Lvai fxaviav (j)povrj(jeL ; 

AAK. "Eycoye. 

2fl. OvKovv Koi fiTjSev etvai Bid fieaov rpirov ttcx- 
dos, o TTOtei rov dvdpcoTTov pirfre (f)p6vip,ov p,rjre 
d<l>pova elvat; 

AAK. Q.iJ,oX6yr]aa ydp. 

2n. Kat /xrjv Svo ye vrrevavria evl TrpdypLari ttcos 
dv eiTj; 

AAK. OvSapidJs. 
C 2n. ^A<f)poavvr] dpa Kal ixavia Kwhvvevei ravrov 

AAK. OatVerat. 

2n. Ildvras oiiv dv <f)dvres, cS 'AA/ctjSiaSi^, tou? 
d(f>povas ixaiveodaL opdcjs dv (f>aL7]p,ev avrtKa rdJv 
ad)V rjXLKLCorcov et rives' rvy)(dvovaLV d<j>poves ovres, 
wdTTep elai, /cat rdJv en Trpea^vrepcov eTrel (f>epe 
irpos Aio?, OVK oiei rcov ev rfj ttoXcl oXcyovs jxev 
elvai rovg (j)povip.ovs , d^povas he Br] rovs ttoXXovs, 
ovs Br] ai) ixaivofxevovs /caAet?; 

AAK. "Eycoye. 

2n. Oiet av ovv xo-ipovras r][j,ds etvat, j^erd roaov- 


soc. Well then, do you hold the same view about 
wisdom and unwisdom ? 

ALC. How do you mean ? 

soc. Tell me, do you think it is only possible to be 
either wise or unwise, or is there some third condition 
between these, which makes a man neither wise nor 
unwise ? 

ALC. No, there is not. 

soc. So he must needs be in one or the other of 
these two conditions. 

ALC. I agree. 

soc. And you remember that you admitted that 
madness is the opposite of wisdom ? 

ALC. I do. 

soc. And further, that there is no third condition 
between these, which makes a man neither wise nor 
unwise ? 

ALC. Yes, I admitted that. 

soc. Well now, can there possibly be two opposites 
of one tiling } 

ALC. By no means. 

soc. Then it looks as though unwisdom and mad- 
ness were the same. 

ALC. Yes, apparently. 

soc. So we shall be right, Alcibiades, in saying 
that all unwise persons are mad ; for example, such 
of your contemporaries as happen to be unwise — 
some such there are — and of your elders, even : for 
tell me, in Heaven's name, do you not think that in 
our city the wise people are but few, whereas the 
majority are unwise, and these you call mad } 

ALC. I do. 

soc. Well, do you suppose we could safely hve 

1 ffii yi/wfjirjv Buniet : Ix^* avYfufiifv, lx«s "yvwfirjv mss. 



D Tcov fjLaLvojjbevctJV 7ToXiT€VOfievovs , Kal ovK av TTaiO- 
fxevovs Kat ^aAAo/xevous", Kal airep eloidaaiv ol 
fJiaivofjievoL SiaTrpdrreadaL, TToXai hri Slktiv SeStu- 
Kevat; aAA opa, a» /xaKapte, [xrj ovx ovru) ravr 

AAK. Uojs oiv ovv TTor' e;)^oi, c5 HtCJKpares ; 
KLvhvvevet yap ovx ovnos ex^tv wanep (hrjdiqv. 

2n. Oj)8' ejxol hoKel. aAAa r^Se tttj ddprjreov. 

AAK. IIt^ TTore Xeyets ; 

2n. Eyco 8t^ crot ye epcD. VTToXap.^dvop.ev rivas 
CLvaL voaovvras' rj ov ; 

AAK. Ilav'y p.ev ovv. 
E 2X1. 'Ap' ovv SoK€L crot di^ay/caiop' ett'at rov vo- 
aovvra noSaypdv -^ TTvperreiv r) 6<f)6aXfj,Ldv , r) ouk 
ai' So/cet crot /cat firjSev rovrcov 7T€7Tovd(hs irepav 
voaov voaelv ; TToXXal yap hrjTTOV yi elcn, Kal ovx 
aSraL fMovac. 

AAK. "E/xotye BoKovcTLV. 

2n. 0(f)6aXp,La ovv aot So/cet Trdaa voaos etvat; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n. *Ap ow Kal Trdaa voaos 6(j)daXp,ia; 

AAK. Ou hrjTa e/xotye* aTTopco fievroi ttws Aeyco. 
140 2n. 'AAA' idv ep,oiye rrpoaex'DS rov vovv, avv re 
hvo aKeTTTOfievo) rvxov evprjaop,ev. 

AAK. AAAa TTpoaexo), c5 Hco/cpares", et? Swa/xtv 

TT^V ifJbljv. 

2n. Ou/cow (hfioXoy-qdr) rjfiLV o^daXfiia p,kv 
Trdaa voaos elvai, voaos fxevroL ovk elvac Trdaa 
o(f)6 aXuia; 

^ Cf. Homer, //. x. 224 trvv re dv' epxopi^vw, Kal re wp6 5 
Tov iforjaev ottttw? K^pdos irj, " if two go along together, then 
one marks before the other how advantage may be had." 



with so many madmen as our fellow-citizens, and 
should not long ago have paid the penalty for it in 
knocks and blows at their hands, and all the usual pro- 
ceedings of madmen ? Consider now, my wonderful 
friend, whether the case is not quite different ? 

ALc. Well, it must be, Socrates. For it looks as 
though it were not as I thought. 

soc. And I think so too. But there is another 
way of regarding it. 

ALC. I wonder what way you mean. 

soc. Well, I Mill tell you. We conceive there are 
some who are sick, do we not } 

ALC. We do, to be sure. 

soc. And do you believe that a sick man must 
necessarily have the gout, or a fever, or ophthalmia ? 
Do you not think that, although he may be afflicted 
in none of these ways, he may be suffering from some 
other disease ? For surely there are many of them : 
these are not the only ones. 

ALC. I agree. 

soc. And is every ophthalmia, in your opinion, a 
disease ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And is every disease also ophthalmia ? 

ALC. No, I should think not : still, I am in doubt as 
to my meaning. 

soc. Well, if you will attend to me," two together "^ 
will be searching, and so mayhap we shall find what 
we seek. 

ALC. Nay, but I am attending, Socrates, to the 
best of my power. 

soc. Then we have admitted that while every 
ophthalmia is a disease, every disease, on the other 
hand, is not ophthalmia ? 



AAK. ' Q.fMoXoyqdr) . 

2n. Kat opdcog ye fjuot 80/cet o/JLoXoyrjBrjvaL. 
/cat yap ol TTVperrovres Travres vocrovcriv, ov fxevrot, 
OL voaovvres iravres TTvperrovaiv ovSe Trohaypcoaiv 
B ovoe ye 6(/)6aXfj,La)aLv, oljxaf dAAa voao's puev ttolv 
TO TOLOvrov eari, hiaj)epeiv he (f)acnv ovs Srj /ca- 
Aovp.€V larpovs rrjv aTtepyaaiav avrajv. ov yap iraaai 
ovre opLOiai ovre o/xotca? hiaTrpdrrovTai, dAAa 
Kara Tqv avrrjs hvvapnv eKaaTT]- voaot puevroL 
TTaaai eiatv. coairep SrjpLLOvpyovs TLvas inroXap,- 
^dvojjiev' ^ ov; 

AAK. Haw pbev ovv. 

2n. OvKovv Tovs (jKVToropiovs /cat reKTOvas /cat 
avSptavTOTTOtovs /cat erepovs irapLTrX-qdels, ovs ri 
Set /ca^' eKaora Xeyeiv ; €)(ovol S' ovv 8teiA7j<^oTes" 
C 8r)p,LovpyLas P'€pT}, /cat Trdvres ovroi elai SrjpbLovpyoL, 
ov pievTOL eicrt reKTOves ye ouSe aKvroropLoi ou8' 
avopiavroTToioi, ol avpLTravres elat, hiqpLiovpyoi. 

AAK. Ov Srjra. 

2n. OuTCt)? piev roivvv /cat r7]v d(/)po<TVvr)v 8t- 
eLXrjtjiOTes elai, /cat rovs p-ev TrXeZoTov avrrjs p^pos 
exovras p.aLvop,evovs KaXovp,ev, rovs 8' oXiyov 
eXarrov riXtdlovs re /cat ep.^povT'^rovs' ol 8e ev 
ev^rjp^ordrois ovopbaai ^ovXopevoi Karovopbd^eiv 
ol p.ev p,eyaXoipvxovs , ol 8e einjOets, erepoL he 
D UKdKovs Kat aTTeipovs /cat eveovs' evp-r^aeig he 
/cat erepa ttoAAo. dval,r]Ta)v ovopara. Trdvra he 
ravra d(j>poavvri eari, hia^epei he, waTrep Te^vr] 

^ dwepyaaia here seems to be used for "effect produced '' 
instead of its usual meaning, " fully effecting," " completion." 



ALC. We have. 

soc. And our admission seems to me quite right. 
For even^one in a fever is sick, but yet not everyone 
who is sick has a fever or the gout or ophthalmia, I 
take it ; thougli everytliing of the sort is a disease, 
but differs — to quote those whom we call doctors — 
in its manifestation.^ For they are not all aUke, nor 
of hke effect, but each works according to its own 
faculty, and yet all are diseases. In the same 
way, we conceive of some men as artisans, do 
we not ? 

ALC. Certainly. 

soc. That is, cobblers and carpenters and stat- 
uaries and a host of others, whona we need not 
mention in particular ; but any way, they have their 
several departments of craft, and all of them are 
craftsmen ; yet they are not all carpenters or 
cobblers or statuaries, though these taken together 
are craftsmen. 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. In the same way, then, have men divided un- 
wisdom also among them, and those who have the 
largest share of it we call " mad," and those who have 
a httle less, " dolts " and " idiots " ; though people 
who prefer to use the mildest language term them 
sometimes " romantic," ^ sometimes " simple- 
minded," ^ or again " innocent," " inexperienced," or 
" obtuse " ; and many another name will you find 
if you look for more. But all these things are un- 
wisdom, though they differ, as we observed that one 

* lxtya\6\l/vxoi has here declined from " high-souled " or 
"magnanimous" to something like "Quixotic." 

' eu^drjs, even in Plato's time, varied between " good- 
hearteid " and " silly." 



r€)(yrjs rjntv Kar€<j)aivero /cat voaos voaov ■^ ttcDs" 
aoL hoK€t; 

AAK. 'E/iOt jJikv ovrcDs. 

2n. OvKovv oltt' €Keivov tto-Xlv eTTaveXOcofxev . 
■^v yap Stjttov /cat iv o.p)(fj rov Xoyov, aKeiniov 
eXvai Tovs d(f)povds re /cat (f>povifJi,ovs , rives ttot' 
elaiv. (LnoXoyrjro yap elvai rivas' rj yap ov; 

AAK. Nat, ojjxoXoyrjraL. 
E 2n. 'Ap' ovv rovrovs ^povijMOVS vrroXafX^dveis, 
OL dv elScbatv arra Set irparreiv /cat Xeyeiv ; 

AAK. "Kycoye. 

2fl. " A<j)povas Se norepovs ; dpd ye rovs /X7]8e- 
Tepa rovrcov elSorag; 

AAK. Tom-ou?. 

2X1. OvKovv ol ye fxrj eiSoreg piTqherepa rovrcov 
Xiqaovcnv avrovs /cat Xeyovres /cat Trpdrrovres 
arra jxtj Set; 

AAK. <I>atVeTat. 

2n. Tovrcov {xevroi eXeyov, co 'AA/ct^taST^, /cat 
141 rov OISlttovv elvai rcov dvdpcoTTCov evprjoeis S' 
en /cat rd)v vvv ttoXXovs ovk opyfj Kexp'TjP-^vovs, 
(ZaTTep eKelvov, ovh oloixevovs /ca/ca a<f)iatv ev)(e- 
adai, dXX dyadd. eKelvos p-ev coanep ovS rjvx^ro, 
ov8' diero' erepoL Se rives eiaiv oi ravavria rovrcov 
ireTTOvdaaiv. eyd) fiev yap oifiai ae irpajrov, ei 
aoi ep,(f)avrjs yev6p.evos 6 deos Tvpos ov rvy^dveis 
7Topev6p,evos, epcori^aeie, Trpiv oriovv ev^aadai ae, 
el e^apKeaei aoi rvpavvov yeveadai rrjs ^ Adrjvaiwv 
TToXeoJS' el Se rovro (fjavXov Tjyqaaio /cat p,r] p^eya 
ri, rrpoadeif] /cat ndvrcov rcov 'E,XXt]vcov' el Se' ere 
B opcLy] en eXarrov SoKovvra exetr, et p-rj /cat Traarjs 
EvpcoTTrjs VTToaraiT] aoi, /cat rovro p,r] p,ovov vrro- 


art or one disease differs from another. Or how does 
it strike you ? 

ALc. That is my view. 

soc. Then let us turn at this point and retrace our 
steps. For we said, you know, at the beginning that 
we must consider who the unwise can be, and who 
the mse : for we had admitted that there are such 
persons, had we not ? 

ALC. Yes, we have admitted it. 

soc. Then you conceive those to be wise who know 
what one ought to do and say } 

ALC. I do. 

soc. And which are the unwise ? Those who know 
neither of these things ? 

ALC. The same. 

soc. And those who know neither of these things 
will say and do unawares what one ought not .'' 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. Well, just such a person, as I was saying, 
Alcibiades, was Oedipus ; and even in our time you 
will find many who do the same, not in a fit of anger, 
as he was : they think they pray not for something 
e\il, but for something good. He neither prayed 
for that, nor thought he did, but there are others 
who are in the opposite case. For I imagine that if 
the god to whom you are now going should appear to 
you and first ask you, before you made any prayer, 
whether you would be content to become sovereign 
of the Athenian state and, on your accounting this 
as something poor and unimportant, should add 
" and of all the Greeks also " ; and if he saw you 
were still unsatisfied unless he promised you besides 
the mastery of all Europe, and should not merely 



araLTj, <dAA'>^ av9r]fjb€p6v aov ^ovXofjievov a>9 
TTavras aladrjoeadai, otl 'AA/ci^taSi^? o KXeiviov 
Tvpavvos ianv avrov olfxai av ae dmeuaL TT€pi-)(aprj 
yevo/xevovy co? tcov pLeyicrrcov ayadcbv KeKvprjKora. 

AAK. EycL) fxev oljjiat, c5 HwKpares, kolv aXKov 
ovTLVovv, eiTTep TOLavra avfx^aLr] avrco. 
C 2X1. AAAa fxevroi avri ye rrjg arjs 4'^XV^ oi)8' 
av TTjv TravTcov 'EAAtJi^ojv re /cat ^ap^dpojv x^po-^ t^ 
Kai TvpavviSa ^ovXrjdelrjs aoc yeveadai. 

AAK. OvK ot/xai eycoye. TrtD? yap dv, fXTjOev ye 
TL pbeXXoiv avTois ;^/D7ycrecr^at; 

2n. Tt S el /xeAAoi? KaKcbs re /cat ^Xa^epcog 
XP^ctBoll; oj3S' dv ovtoj<^; 

AAK. Ov hrjra. 

2n. Opas ovv d)S OVK da^aXes ovre to, SiSo- 
ixeva elKji Sex^adai ye ovre avrov evx^(^do.L yeve- 
adat, e'l ye ris ^Xdirreadai [xeXXoi Sta ravra rj ro 
■napdrrav rod ^iov dTraXXayrjvai . ttoAAou? S' av 
D e^oifiev elTTCtv, oaoL rvpavvihos eindvp.r^aavre'; 
rjS-q /cat aTTOvSdaavre? rovr^ avrols TrapayeveaOai, 
d>S dyadov Tt Trpd^avreg, Sta Ty]v rvpavviha ein- 
^ovXevdevres tov ^iov dcfiTjpedrjaav. ot/xat 8e ae 
OVK dviJKoov elvai evid ye x^^^^^ '^^ '*^*^ Tr/aoit^d 
yeyevrip.eva, ore ' Apx^Xaov tov Ma/ceSova;^ rvpav- 
vov rd TratSt/cct, epaadevra rrjs rvpavvlSos ovdev 
rjrrov -qnep eKeZvos rcvv TTaiSiKajv, direKreive rov 
E epaarrjv a*? rvpavvog re /cat evSaifiajv dvrjp ecrofievos' 
Karaaxd)V 8e rpel? rj rerrapas r]p,€pag rrjv rvpav- 
vt'Sa TToXiv avros eTTL^ovXevdels v(f)^ erepcov rivcbv 

^ dX\' add. Dobree. 

^ Quoted from Homer, //, ii. 303. 


promise you that, but on the self-same day a recogni- 
tion by all men, if you so desired, of Alcibiades, son 
of Cleinias, as their sovereign — I imagine you would 
actually depart in a transport of dehght, as having 
secured the greatest of goods. 

ALc. So would anybody else, I imagine, Socrates, 
at such a stroke of luck ! 

soc. But still you would not wish to sacrifice your 
hfe even for the territory and sovereignty of all the 
Greeks and barbarians together. 

ALC. I should think not. How could I, ^^^thout a 
prospect of making any use of them ? 

soc. And what if you had a prospect of making an 
evil and injurious use of them ? Not in this case 
either ? 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. So you see it is not safe either to accept 
casually what one is given, or to pray for one's own 
advancement, if one is going to be injured in conse- 
quence, or depi-ived of one's hfe altogether. Yet 
we could tell of many ere now who, having desired 
sovereignty, and endeavoured to secure it, Avith the 
idea of working for their good, have lost their lives 
•by plots which their sovereignty has provoked. And 
I expect you are not unacquainted with certain 
events " of a day or two ago," ^ when Archelaus, the 
monarch of Macedonia, was slain ^ by his favourite, 
who was as much in love ^\■ith the monarchy as 
Archelaus was with him, and who killed his lover with 
the expectation of being not only the monarch, but 
also a happy man : but after holding the monarchy 
for three or four days he was plotted against by others 

* This assassination occurred in 399 b.c, the year of 
Socrates' death. 

VOL. VIII R 241 


€T€A€VT7ja€V . opds 817 Kai Tcov r)[j.€T€pa)v voXiTcbv 
— ravra yap ovk ctAAcoi^ aKr^KoajJiev, aAA avroi 
TTapovreg o'lSafiev — oaoi arparrjyias eTndvfM-qaav- 
142 T€s rjhrj /cat rvxovres avT-fjs ol /xev en Kol vvv 
^vyabes rrjahe rrjs TToXecos etcriv, ol 8e rov ^lov 
ereXevrrjaav ol Se apiara hoKovvTes avrojv irpar- 

T€LV Sia TToXXcbv KLvhwCjOV iXd6vT€S Kol (f)6^a}V OV 

fiovov €V ravrr) rfj arpar-qyla, dAA' inel els riqv 
iavroJv KarijXdov, vtto rwv GVKO(f)avr6jv noXiop- 
KovpLevoi TToXtopKiav ovSev eXdrrcj rijs vtto rcov 
TToXefMLCOv StereXecrav, (Zare ivlovs avrcov evx^crdaL 

B ddTpaTrjy^rovs elvaL [xdXXov r] ia-rpaTrjy-qKevai. 
€1, fxev ovv Tjcrav ol Kivhwol re /cat 7701^01 <j)epovres 
els (h(j)eXeiav, el^^v dv riva Xoyov vvv Se /cat ttoXv 
rovvavTiov. evprjaeis 8e /cat vrept tckvcov rov 
avrov rpoTTov, ev^apuevovs rivds 17817 yeveadai /cat 
yevop.ev(x>v els avpi(j)opds re /cat Xviras rds pieylaras 
Karaardvras. ol p,ev yap pLO)(9r]pa>v 8ta reXovs 
ovrojv rd>v reKvoiV oXov rov ^iov XvTvovpevoL St- 
rjyayov rovs 8e XRTT^TdJv piev yevopbevcov , avpi,(f>opais 

C 8e ;)^/)i7craju,eVa)v (Lare areprjOrjvai., /cat rovrovs 
ovSev els eXdrrovas Svcrrvxlas KadearrjKoras rfTTep 
eKelvovs, /cat ^ovXop,evovs dv dyevrjra pdXXov 
elvai rj yeveadai. dAA' opicos rovrcov re /cat 
erepcov rroXXcbv opoiorpoTTcov rovrois ovrco a(f)6Spa 
KaraST^Xcjv ovrcov, airavLov evpelv oarcs dv rj 
SiSopevcov dTToaxotro ^ p-eXXcov hi evx^js rev- 
^eadai Travaairo av evxopievos' 01 8e ttoAAoi ovre 
dv Tvpavvlhos Sihopevrjs dTToaxoivro dv ovre arparrj- 

D ytas" ovhi* erepcov ttoXXojv, d Trapovra ^Xdnrei 


in his turn, and perished. You have only to look at 
some of our own citizens — and these are examples 
that we know, not by hearsay, but by personal 
observation — who in their time have desired to hold 
mihtary command and have obtained it, and see how 
some to this very day are exiles from our city, while 
others have lost their hves. And even those who are 
deemed to be faring best have not only gone through 
many dangers and terrors in holding their command, 
but on returning home have continued to be as sorely 
besieged by informers as they were by the enemy, 
so that some of them Avished to heaven that they 
had been anything but commanders rather than have 
held such appointments. Of course, if these dangers 
and toils were conducive to our advantage, there 
would be some reason for them ; but the case is 
quite the contrary. And you will find it is just the 
same in regard to children : some people have been 
known to pray that they might have them, and when 
they have got them have fallen into the greatest dis- 
asters and pains. For some have had children that 
were utterly bad, and have spent their whole lives in 
repining ; while others, though they had good ones, 
were bereft of them by disasters that overtook them, 
and thus were cast into as great misfortune as the 
others, and ^\•ished that no children at all had been 
born to them. But nevertheless, \^ith all this plain 
evidence, and a great deal more of a similar kind, 
before men's eyes, it is rare to find anyone who has 
either declined what was offered to him or, when he 
was likely to gain something by prayer, refrained 
from praying. Most men would not decline the offer 
of either a monarchy or a generalship or any of the 
various other tilings wliich bring ^dth them harm 



fidXXov ^ (h^eXel, dXXa Kov ev^aivro av yeveadac, 
et TO) fir] TTapovra rvyxoLvei' oXlyov Se eTnaxovres 
ivloTC 7TaXLV(x}hovaLV, dvcvxof^^vot, drr' dv to 
irpaJTOV ev^covrai. iyd) jxev oitv aTTopcb, {MT} cd? 
dXrjBcos p.driqv Qeovs dvdpcoTTOL alriiovTaL, eg 

€K€LVOJV cl)dfX€VOI, KTaKTCt a(f)l,GiV civaf ol he Kttt aVTOL 

a(f)fjaLV €LT€ draadaXLaiatv elre d(j)poGVvai<s XPV 
E eLTTelv, VTTep puopov aAye' exovcn, KLvSvvevet yovv, cb 
'AA/ct^taSrj, (f>p6vip.6s TLS etvac CKeivos o TTOirjrrjSf 
OS SoKel fJbOL (f)LXoLS dvo-qroig tlol ;^/3i7CTa/x€Vos', opcbv 
avTOVs /cat TTpdrrovras Kal evxop-evovs airep ov 
^eXrtov rjv, eKeivois he ehoKei, kolvt] vnep aTravrcov 
avrdJv evx'Tjv TTOiijaaudai' Xeyei he ttojs ojhf 

143 Zeu ^aaiXev, rd p,ev eaOXd, <f)r]aL, Kal evxop'evoLS 

Koi dveVKTOLS 

dfXfiL hihov, TO, he SeiAa^ Kal evxop^evois dn- 

KeXevet. ep,ol p,€v ovv KaXcog hoKeT Kai acrcpaXcos 
Xeyeiv 6 TTonqr-qs' av 8' ec ri ev vo) exets Trpos ravra, 

flT] GLCOTTa. 

AAK. XaAeTTov, w HiJjKpares, earlv dvTiXeyeiv 
TTpos TO, KaXdJs elprjfjLeva- eKelvo h ovv ivvoat, 
ocrcov KaKoJv alria rj dyvoia roZs dvOpcLiroLS, OTTore, 
cos eoLKe, XeX-qdaixev r]p,ds avrovs hid ravTrjv Kal 
B TTpdrrovres xal to y eaxo-Tov eup^o/xevot -qixlv 
avToZs Ta KdKLcrra. orrep ovv ovhels dv olrjdeLT], 
dXXd TOVTO ye irds dv o'lolto iKavo? elvai, avTos 
avTcp Ta ^eArtoTa ev^aadaL, dAA' ov Td KaKiara. 
TOVTO p,ev yap cos dXrjddJs KaTapa tlvI aXX ovK 
evxij dfjboiov dv eh]. 

1 SetXi Buttmann : bfiva. mss. 


rather than benefit, but would even pray to be 
granted them in cases where they were lacking : but 
after a httle while they often change their tune, and 
retract all their former prayers. I question therefore 
if men are not really wrong in blaming the gods as 
the authors of their ills, when " they themselves by 
their own presumption " — or unwisdom, shall we 
say ? — " have gotten them more than destined 
sorrows." ^ It would seem, at any rate, Alcibiades, 
that one old poet had some wisdom ; for I conceive 
it was because he had some foolish friends, whom he 
saw working and praying for things that were not 
for their advantage, though supposed to be by them, 
that he made a common prayer on behalf of them all, 
in terms something like these : 

King Zeus, give unto us what is good, whether we pray or 

pray not ; 
But what is grievous, even if we pray for it, do thou avert. ^ 

So then, to my mind the poet spoke well and soundly ; 
but if you have thought of an answer to his words, 
do not be silent. 

ALC. It is difficult, Socrates, to gainsay what has 
been well spoken : one thing, however, I do observe 
— how many evils are caused to men by ignorance, 
when, as it seems, we are beguiled by her not only 
into doing, but — worst of all — into praying to be 
granted the greatest evils. Now that is a thing 
that no one would suppose of himself ; each of us 
would rather suppose he was competent to pray for 
his own greatest good, not his greatest evil. Why, 
that would seem, in truth, more like some sort of 
curse than a prayer ! 

1 Cf. Homer, Od. i. 32. * Cf. Anth. Pal. x. 108. 



2fl. AAA* lgcjos, & ^eXricrre, ^a'liq dv Tt? avi^p, 

OS e/Jiov T€ /cat gov aocf)a)T€pos wv rvy)(avoL, ovk 

opdcos rjfids Aeyeiv, ovrcos ^iK-fj tpeyovras dyvoiav, 

C €t ye [Jbr] Trpoadelrjpiev rrjv eanv Jjv re dyvoiav /cat 

eariv ois /cat e)(ovaL ttcjs ayadov, (MOTrep e/cetvot? 


AAK. Ucos Aeyets"; ecrrt yap otlovv 7rpdyp,a 
oro) Srj oTTCoaovv e^ovri dp^eivov dyvoelv r] yiyvoi- 

2n. "E/xoiye So/cet* aol 8' ou; 

AAK. Oj3 fM€VTOL fj,d Ata. 

2n. 'AAAo. jjLTjv ou8' iK€Lv6 GOV Karayvii>GOfj,at, 

edeXetv dv oe Trpos rrjV eavrov ixrfrepa SiaTreTTpd^dai, 

direp OpeGTTjv ^aat /cat rov 'AA/c/xecuva /cat et 

D §''7 Ttp'es' aAAot e/cetvot? TvyxdvovGL ravrd Sta- 


AAK. Eu^7y/xet Trpos" Atd?, cS HcoKpares. 

2X1. Oyroi Tov Aeyovra, to 'AA/ctjSia87^, to? oy/c 
ai' ideXoLS GOL ravra veTrpaxdo-f ev^rjfielv Set ae 
KeAeuetv, dAAa p,dXXov ttoXv, et rt? to. ivavrla 
XeyoL' eneiSr] ovrco gol SokcZ a<j)6hpa hewov etvat 
TO TTpdyfjua, cScrr' ouSe prjriov etvat ovrcos eiKfj' 
So/cetj S' av Tov 0peGT7]V, et ervyxo-ve (ppovLpLos 
tov /cat etSoJS' o rt ^eXrLGTOV rjv avTU> Trparreiv, 
ToXfJ,rJGaL dv Tt TOUTCOt' SuaTTpd^aGdai; 

AAK. Ou Sy^ra. 
J] 2fl. Oi)8e' ye aAAov olfiac ovSeva. 

AAK. Oi5 fJievroL. 

2n. Ka/coi' ap', oi? eocKev, iorlv 'q rov jSeArtcrrou 
dyvoia /cat to dyvoetv to ^eXriorov. 

AAK. "E/iotye 8o/cet. 



soc. But perhaps, my excellent friend, some person 
who is wiser than either you or I may say we are 
wTong to be so free ^^ith our abuse of ignorance, 
unless we can add that it is ignorance of cert-ain 
things, and is a good to certain persons in certain 
conditions, as to those others it is an evil. 

ALC. How do you mean ? Can there be anything 
of which it is better for anybody, in any condition 
whatsoever, to be ignorant than cognisant ? 

soc. I beheve so ; and do not you ? 

ALC. No, indeed, upon my word. 

soc. But surely I shall not have to tax you with 
an inchnation to commit such an act against your 
own mother as Orestes and Alcmaeon, and any 
others who have followed their example, are said to 
have committed against theirs. 

ALC. No unlucky words, in Heaven's name, 
Socrates ! 

soc. Why, it is not the person who says, Alcibiades, 
that you would not like to be guilty of such an act, 
whom you should bid avoid unlucky words, but 
much rather him who might say the contrary ; 
since the act seems to you so very dreadful as to 
be unfit even for such casual mention. But do you 
think that Orestes, if he had had all his ^\•its about 
him and had known what was best for him to do, 
would have brought himself to commit any act of 
the sort ? 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. Nor would anyone else, I imagine. 

ALC. No. 

soc. Then it seems that ignorance of what is best, 
and to be ignorant of the best, is a bad thing. 

ALC. I agree. 



2n. OvKovv Kal e/ceiVoj /cat rols dXXoLS airaaiv ; 

AAK. ^7]li,i. 

2n. Ert roivvv Kal roSe iTTiaKeijiOiixeda' el' crot 
auTt/ca fidXa Trapaarair], olrjOevn ^eXnov elvac, 
UepiKXea rov aeavrov eTrirpoTTov re Kal (f)LXov, 
iyXeLplSLOv Xa^ovra, iXOovra irrl rds dvpas, 
144 eLTTelv el evSov iarl, ^ovX6p.evov aTTOKTelvai avrov 
eKelvov, dXXov 8e firjSeva' ol 8e <f)aL€v evBov etvat — 
/cat ov Xeyo) edeXeiv dv ae rovrojv rt irpdrreLV 
dAA' el, oi/xat, So^ei crot, OTrep ovdev KcoXvei Stjttou 
Toi ye dyj/oowTt to ^eXricrrov TrapacrrrjvaL ttotc 
So^av, cSore olrjQ-qvaL /cat ro KaKiarov irore jSeA- 
riOTOv elvai' rj ovk dv So/cet CTOt; 

AAK. ndvu /xei^ ow. 

2n. Et ow TTapeXdcbv elaco /cat tSa;v auro^ 
B e/cetvor ayv'OT^o'at? re /cat olrjdeirjs dv dXXov etvat 
Ttt'a, dp eVt dv avrov roXfit^aaig aTTOKrelvai; 

AAK. Ov p.a rov Ata, ou/c dv jxot, So/ccD. 

2n. Ol) yap hiJTTov rov ivrv)(ovra, dXX avrov 
eKeZvov ov rj^ovXov. rj yap; 

AAK. Nat. 

2,0,. OvKovv Kal el TroAAd/ct? eyxeipolg, alel Se 
dyvooXs rov flept/cAea, orrore /xeAAots" rovro irpar- 
T€LV, ovTTore dv erridoio avrw. 

AAK. Ov Srjra. 

2n. Tt 8e; rov ^Opecm]v hoKeZs dv rrore rfj 
fMTjrpl eTTideadai, et ye d>aavra>s rjyvorjaev ; 
C AAK. Ovk olixai eywye. 

2n. Ov yap StJttov ouS' eKeZvos rrjv Trpoarv^ov- 


soc. And not only for the person himself, but for 
everyone else ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Then let us consider this further case. 
Suppose it should quite suddenly occur to your 
mind that you had better take a dagger and go to 
the door of Pericles, your o\\'n guardian and friend, 
and ask if he were at home, with the design of 
kilhng just him and no one else, and his servants 
said he was at home : now, I do not say you would 
be inchned to do any such thing, but I suppose, if 
you are under the impression which at some moment 
may well be present, surely, to the mind of a man 
who is ignorant of the best — that what is really the 
worst is best at some moment — or do you not agree } 

ALC. Quite so. 

soc. Well then, if you went indoors and saw Pericles 
himself, but did not know him, and thought he was 
somebody else, would you still venture to kill him ? 

ALC. No, upon my word, I should think not. 

soc. For your man was, I presume, not anyone 
you met, but that particular person whom you 
wished to kill ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And although you might make a number of 
attempts, if you always failed to know Pericles when 
you were about to commit the act, you would never 
attack him. 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. Well now, do you suppose that Orestes would 
ever have attacked his mother if he had similarly 
failed to know her ? 

ALC. I do not think he would. 

soc. For presumably he, too, had no intention 



aav yvvoLKa ovhe rrjv orovovv /HTjrepa Sievoeiro 
aTTOKrelvaLy aAAd ti]v avros avrov. 
AAK. "Eart ravra. 

2n. Ayvoeiv apa rd ye roiavra ^eXriov roZs 
ovroi SiaKetjjievoig Kal rotavras Bo^as exovatv. 
AAK. ^alverat. 

2n. Opas ovv, on tj eartv (Lv re ayvoia /cat eariv 
OLS Acat e)(ovai ttcos dyadov, aAA' ov KaKov, axj-nep 
aprt aoi iSoKei; 
AAK. "KoiKev. 
D 2n. "Eti roivvv el jSouAet to /xtra rovro im- 
GKOTTetv, aroTTOv dv lgojs gol S6^€L€v elvac. 
AAK. Tt /LtaAtora, cS ScoKpares"; 
2n. "Ort, COS" eVos" elrreZv, KLvhvvevei ro ye raJv 
aAAcuv eTnarrjficbv KrTJjJia, edv res dvev rov ^eXrl- 
crrov KeKrrjfievos fj, oAiya/ctS' P'ev dxjieXelv, ^XaTrretv 
he rd TrXeioi rov e^ovra avro.^ oKOTrei, 8e c5Se. 
ap ovK avayKalov aoi So/cet elvai, orav ri p,eX- 
Xiop,ev rjroL irpdrreiv rj Xeyeiv, olrjdijvai Selv 
Trpdjrov rjp^dg elhevat r^ rw ovri elSevat rovd^ o dv 
E 7Tpo-)(eLporepix)s ixeXXcojJLev 7] Xeyeiv r) Trpdrreiv ; 
AAK. "E/Ltoiye hoKel. 

Sn. OvKovv ol p-qropes avriKa rjroL elSores crvp,- 
^ovXeveiv ■^ olrjdevres elSevai, avfji^ovXevovacv r)fj,LV 
eKaarore, ol /xev Trepi 7roXep,ov re Kal elpTjvrjs, ol 
8e TTepl rei)(d)V OLKoSofJuag rj XLp,evcx)v KaraaKevrjs' 
145 €1^1 Se Adya>, oaa 8i] nore rj ttoXls Trpdrrei Trpos 
dXXrjv TToXiv rj avrr] Kad^ avr-qv, arro rrjs rcov 
prjropwv avfi^ovXrjs dnavra ylyverac. 
AAK. *AXr]drj Xeyeis. 
2n. "Opa roivvv Kal rd em rovrots. 
AAK. *Av hvv7]da). 


of killing the first woman he met, or anybody else's 
mother, but only his o\\ii. 

ALc. That is so. 

soc. Then to be ignorant in such matters is better 
for those who are so disposed and have formed such 

ALC. Apparently. 

soc. So you see that ignorance of certain things 
is for certain persons in certain states a good, not 
an evil, as you supposed just now. 

ALC. It seems to be. 

soc. Then if you care to consider the sequel of 
this, I daresay it will surprise you. 

ALC. What may that be, Socrates ? 

soc. I mean that, generally speaking, it rather 
looks as though the possession of the sciences as a 
whole, if it does not include possession of the science 
of the best, will in a few instances help, but in most 
will harm, the owner. Consider it this way : must 
it not be the case, in your opinion, that when we are 
about to do or say anything, we first suppose that 
we know, or do really know, the thing we so con- 
fidently intend to say or do .'' 

ALC. I think so. 

soc. Well, take the orators, for example : they either 
know, or think they know, how to advise us on various 
occasions — some about war and peace, and others 
about building walls or fitting up harbours ; and in a 
word, whatever the city does to another city or within 
herself, all comes about by the advice of the orators. 

ALC. That is true. 

soc. Then observe the consequence. 

ALC. If I am able. 

^ ainb Schneider, auri. mss. 



2fi. KaAets yap B'qTTOv <j)povLfiovs re /cat a.<f>povag ; 

AAK. "Eycoye. 

2n. Oy/cow Toj)? /A€i' 77oAAous' a<f>povas, rovs S' 
oAtyou? <j>povLixovs ; 

AAK. Ovrcos. 

2n. OuKow Trpo? Tt aTTO^XeTTOJV afx<j)orepovs ; 

AAK. Nat. 
B 5X1. *A/)' ow Tov roLovrov avfi^ovXevcLV elSora, 
Xojpls rod TTorepov ^eXriov /cat ore ^eXrtov, <^p6- 
vLfiov KaXets ; 

AAK. Ov Srjra. 

2n. OuSe ye, oi/xat, ooTt? to TroAe/xetv auro 
otSe x^P'-^ "^^^ OTTore ^eXriov /cat roaovrov xpovov 
oaov ^eXriov. rj yap; 

AAK. Nat. 

2fl. Oi)/<row ovSe et Tt? Ttva aTro/CTivp-wat olSev 
ouSe XPVP'^'^^ dcjiaipe'LcrdaL /cat <j>vydha TTOieZv rrj^ 
TTarplhos, x^P''^ "^^^ orrore ^eXriov Koi ovnva ^eX- 

AAK. Ov fxevroi. 
C 2n. "OcTTi? d'pa Ti raJv roiovroiv otSev, idv fiev 
TTapeTTrjrai avrco rj rod ^eXriarov eTnarrrjfMT] — avrrj 
8* rjv rj avrrj S-qTrov rjrrep /cat rj rod (h(j)eXijiov rj yap; 

AAK. Nat. 

2n . ^povLfJbov be ye avrov (f>rjaop.ev /cat aTToxpcovra 
avjJi^ovXov /cat rfj TToXet /cat auToi' avrco' rov 8e jirj 
roiovrov^ rdvavria rovrwv. r) ttojs hoKeZ; 

AAK. 'E/xot jiev ovrcos. 

2n. Tt 8' et Tt? LTTTTevetv 'q ro^eveiv olhev, rj 
av TTVKrevetv rj TraXaieiv rj ri rrjs dXXrjs dycovias 

^ ToiovTov J. G. Schneider: iroiovvra siss. 



soc. Why,surely you call men eitherwise or unwise? 

ALC. I do. 

soc. And the many unwise, and the few wise ? 

ALC. Precisely. 

soc. And in either case you name them in reference 
to something .'' 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Then do you call a man wise who knows how 
to give ad\ice, without knowing whether and when 
it is better to act upon it .'' 

ALC. No, indeed. 

soc. Nor, I conceive, a man who knows what war 
is in itself, without knowing when or for how long 
a time it is better to make war ? 

ALC. Agreed. 

soc. Nor, again, a man who knows how to kill 
another, or seize liis property, or make him an exile 
from his native land, without knowing when or to 
whom it is better so to behave ? 

ALC. No, to be sure. 

soc. Then it is a man who knows something of 
this sort, and is assisted by knowledge of what is 
best, — and this is surely the same as knowledge of 
the useful, is it not ? 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. And we shall call him wise, and a competent 
adviser both of the city and of his own self ; but a 
man not so quahfied we shall call the opposite of 
these. How do you think ? 

ALC. I agree. 

soc. And what of a man who knows how to ride 
or shoot, or else to box or wrestle or contend in any 



D "f] KaL aX\o ri rcov roiovrcov oaa r€)(vrj otSa/xer, tl 
KaAels o? av ^ISfj ro Kara ravrrjv rrjv r€)(yr]v 
jSeArtov yiyvo^evov ; dp* ov rov Kara rrjv iTTTTLKriv 
Ittttikov ; 

AAK. "Eyojye. 

2n. Tov Be ye, olfxai, Kara ttjv TTVKrtKrjv ttvk- 
TLKOV, rov Se /car' avXrjrLKrjv avX-qriKOV , /cat raAAa 
8t]7Tov dva Xoyov rovrois' rj dXXcos ttcos ; 

AAK. OvK, aAA' ovrojs. 

Sn. AoKel ovv aoi dvayKalov etvai rov nepl rov- 
roiv Tt eTTLar-qfiova ovra dpa /cat dvBpa <f>p6vtp,ov 
E etvat, iq ttoXXov (^r^cro/xev evSeXv ; 

AAK. UoXXov [xevroL vrj At'a. 

2n. Iloiav' ovv o'Ui TToXtretav etvat ro^orcbv re 
dyadcov /cat avXrjrcov, eVt Se /cat ddXrjroJv re /cat 
rwv dXXojv rexi^Lrajv, dvafiefjuyfievcov 8' ev roiovrois 
ovs^ dpri €lpT]Kap,ev rcov re avro ro TToXefielv elSorcov 
/cat avro ro dTTOKr ivvvvai, rrpos he /cat dvhpibv 
prjropLKcbv TToXiriKov (f)var]iJia (f)vaa)vro)v, arrdvrcov 
he rovrojv ovrcov dvev rrjs rov ^eXriurov eTnGr-qp,f]s 
/cat rov elhoros, onore ^eXriov evl e/caoroj rovrcov 
146 )(p7JadaL /cat Trpos riva; 

AAK. ^avXrjv rivd eycoye, c3 HcoKpares. 

2fl. OatTys" ye av, olp^ai, OTTorav opcorjs eva 
CKaarov avrcov ^iXormovfievov re /cat vefiovra ro 
rrXelarov rrjs iroXirelas 

rovrcp ixepos, 
Iv* avros avrov rvyxdvr) Kpdnaros cov 

Xeyo) he ro /car' avrrjv rrjV rexvrjv ^eXricrrov 

^ ods Dobree : oh jiss. 



other sport, or do anything that we know by rule of 
art ? \\Tiat do you call him who knows what is 
better done by rule of that particular art ? Do you 
not say that he who goes by the rules of riding is a 
good rider ? 

AJJC. I do. 

soc. And the rules of boxing, I suppose, make a 
good boxer, and those of flute-playing a good flute- 
player, and so, on the same lines,^ I presume, with 
the rest ; or is there any difference ? 

ALC. No, it is as you say. 

soc. Then do you think it inevitable that he who 
has some knowledge about these things should also 
be a -wise man, or shall we say he comes far short 
of it? 

ALC. Far short of it, I declare. 

soc. Then what sort of state do you suppose it 
would be, where the people were good bovsTnen and 
flute-players, together with athletes and artists in 
general, and mingled with these the men whom we 
have just mentioned as knowing war in itself and 
slaughter in itself, and orator-\\indbags too with 
their pohtical bluster, but all of them lacked this 
knowledge of the best, and none knew when or upon 
whom it was better to employ their respective arts ? 

ALC. A paltry one, I should call it, Socrates. 

soc. Yes, you would, I expect, when you saw each 
one of them \ying with the other and assigning the 
largest part in the conduct of the state to that 

Wherein himself is found most excellent,* 

I mean, what is done best by rule of his particular 

* dfci X67o«' occurs, with the genitive, in Tim. 29 c ; the 
normal Platonic phrase for our passage is u:ffavT(as. 

* Cf. Gorg. 484 e (Eurip. Antiope, fr.). 



yiyvojjbevov rod 8e rrj TroAei re Kai avrov avrco 
PeXricTTOV OVTOS ra 77oAAa SLrjjjiapr'qKOTa, aire 
olfiai,, av€V vov So^rj TreTTiarevKora. ovtcos 8e 
B TOVTCDV exovTOJv, o.p' ovK dv 6pd(x)g XdyoLfiev 
(jxivres ttoXXtjs rapaxrjs re Kal dvojjiLas fiearriP 
ctvai rrjv Toiavrrjv iroXiTeiav ; 

AAK. Opdcjs jJievTOL VT) Aia. 

2n. OvKOVV dvayKOLOv rjfilv eSo/cet ol7]d'fjvai 
helv TTpojrov rjpids eiSeVat -^ ro) ovri etSeVat rovro, 
o dv TTpoxetpcos fxeXXcopiev rj Trpdrrew r) Xeyetv ; 

AAK. 'ESd/cet. 

2n. OvKovv Kov /xev Trpdrrrj a ti? oiSev rj So/cet 
eiSeVat, TTapeTTrjrai 8e to <x><j>€Xip.oig , Kal Xvai- 
C TeAowTcos" 17/^5? e^eti' /cat r/^ voXeL Kai avrov 
avrw ; 

AAK. rico? ydp ou; 

2n. 'Eav 8e y', olfxai, rdvavria rovrcov, ovre rfj 
TToXei ovr avrov avrw; 

AAK. Ov Sryra. 

2n. Tt 8e; /cat vw en cocraurcus" crot So/cet t^ 
aAAo)? TTOis ; 

AAK. Ou/c, dAA' ovr a>s. 

2n. *A/3' ow e(f)7jada KaXeXv rovs p-^v ttoXXovs 
d<j>povas, rovs 8' oXiyovs ^povip^ovs ; 

AAK. "Eyojye. 

2n. Oj)/cow (^ajxev ttoXiv rovs ttoXXovs hi,rjp,aprrj- 
Kevai rov ^eXriarov, cos ra TToXXd ye, otp^ai, dvev 
vov ho^Tj TTeTTcarevKoras . 
D AAK. Oa/Aev yap. 

2n. AvarireXel dpa rols ttoXXoIs [Mrir ei8ei/ai 
fjirjSev p,rjr^ o'ieadai elSevai,, etTrep ye /xaAAov Trpo- 
6vp,^aovrai irpdrreiv puev ravra, drr* dv clbdjaiv 


art — while he is entirely off the track of what is best 
for the state and for himself, because, I conceive, he 
has put his trust in opinion apart from intelligence. 
In these circumstances, should we not be right in 
saying that such a state is one great mass of turmoil 
and lawlessness ? 

ALC. We should, upon my word. 

soc. And we took it to be necessary that we should 
first think we know, or really know, anything that 
we confidently intend either to do or to say ? 

ALC. We did. 

soc. And if a man does what he knows or thinks 
he knows, and is assisted by knowing how to make it 
beneficial, we shall find him profitable both to the 
city and to himself .'' 

ALC. Certainly. 

soc. But if, I suppose, he does the contrary, he 
will not be so either to the city or to himself ? 

ALC. No, indeed, 

soc. Well then, do you still take the same view 
now as before, or do you think differently ? 

ALC. No, I take the same view. 

soc. And you said you called the many unwise, and 
the few wise ? 

ALC. I did. 

soc. So now we repeat oiu- statement that the many 
have missed getting the best because in most cases, 
I conceive, they have put their trust in opinion apart 
from intelligence. 

ALC. Yes. 

soc. Then it is an advantage to the many neither 
to know nor to think they know anything, if they are 
going to be specially eager to do what they know or 

VOL. VIII 8 257 


7] olr]d(x)aLv etSeVat, TTpaTTovres Se ^XairrecrdaL ra 
ttAcicu jxdXXov T] (h^eXeladai,. 
AAK. ^ AXiqd ear ar a Aeyet?. 

Sn. 'Opas ovv, ore €<f)T]v KivhvveveLV to ye 

E Tcbv dXXojv eTnarrjiiayv KrijiJia, idv ris avev rrjs rod 

^eXriarov eTTLcm^fJirjg KCKTrjfJievos fj, oXiyaKis fiev 

(x>j)eXeZv, ^XoLTTTecv 8e to, TrAeico tov €)(ovr^ avro, 

dp' ov)(L TO) ovTi 6pdd)s i(l)aLv6iJLr]v XeyuiV ; 

AAK. Kat el fMT] t6t€, dXXd vvv fioL So/cet, c5 SctJ- 
K pares. 

5n. Aet dpa Kal ttoXlv /cat i/jvx'rjv rr)v pieXXovaav 
6pdd)s ^idxjeadai ravrrjs rTJs eTTiarrjfMrjs dvre)(e- 
adat, drexviJos wanep dadevovvra larpov rj rivos 
Kv^epvqrov rov da<f>aX(x)s p-eXXovra ttXcXv, dvev 
147 ydp ravrrjs,^ oaiprrep dv Xap^irporepov^ eTTovpiarj ro 
rrjs rvxy]S^ "^ Trepl ;j(;/37y/xara)v Kr-qaiv rj oco/xaros 
pcx}p.rjv y] Kal aAAo ri rd)v roiovrcov, roaovru) 
/xet^cu dfJbapr-qfMara 0,77' avrd)v dvayKolov eariv, <hs 
eoLKe, yiyveadai. 6 he Sr] rrjv KaXovp,evrjv ttoXv- 
p.adiav re Kal rroXvrexyiav KeKTrj/Mevog, 6p<j)av6g 8e 
ojv ravrrjs rrjs eTTiarrjpLris , dyo/xevos 8e vrro fxids 
CKdcrrrjs rdJv dXXcov, dp' ovp^t rw ovri SiKaLws 
TToXXo) x^'-H'dJvi, ;)^p7JCTeTat, dr' , olp^ai, dvev Kv^ep- 
vijrov SLareXojv ev rreXdyei, XP^^^^ °'^ p,aKp6v ^iov 
B deoiv; ware uvpu^aiveiv fMoi, So/cet /cat evravda ro 
rod TTOiTjrov, o Xeyet Karrjyopcov ttov rivos, cos 
dpa 77oAAa [xev rjTrlararo epya, KaKdjs 8e, (f>r]criv, 
rjTTLcrraTo rrdvra. 

AAK. Kat Tt St] TTore avix^aivei ro rod iroLrjrov, 

^ Avev yap rairyis transp. Lennep : ante ij wepl xpvf^o.''''^^ Mss. 
^ XaixwpoTepov Lennep : ixi) wpbrepov mss. 
* Ti'xns Stallbaum : ypvxn^ mss. 


think they know, but are likely on the whole, in 
doing it, to be injured rather than benefited. 

ALC. That is very true. 

soc. So you see that when I said it looked as though 
the possession of the sciences as a whole, where it did 
not include the science of the best, in a few cases 
helped, but in most harmed the oA\Tier, I was 
evidently right in very truth, was I not } 

ALC. Though I did not then, I think so now, 

soc. Hence the state or soul that is to hve aright 
must hold fast to this knowledge, exactly as a sick 
man does to a doctor, or as he who would voyage 
safely does to a pilot. For without this, the more 
briskly it is wafted by fortune either to the 
acquisition of wealth or to bodily strength or aught 
else of the sort, the greater will be the mistakes in 
which these things, it would seem, must needs involve 
it. And he who has acquired the so-called mastery 
of learning and arts, but is destitute of this knowledge 
and impelled by this or that one among those others, 
is sure to meet with much rough weather, as he truly 
deserves ; since, I imagine, he must continue vvithout 
a pilot on the high seas, and has only the brief span 
of his hfe in which to run his coiu-se. So that his case 
aptly fits the saying of the poet, in which he com- 
plains of somebody or other that 

Full many crafts he knew : but still 
He knew them all so very 111.^ 

ALC. WTiy, how on earth is the poet's saying 

^ Quoted from the mock-epic Margites, of which only this 
and five other lines have survived. The hero, Margites, 
became the proverbial t3rpe of a blundering idiot, and the 
poem was generally attributed to Homer 



o) IjcoKparcs; e^i-OL fxev yap ouS' oriovv 80/cet 
vpos Xoyov elprjKevai. 

2n. Kat [xdXa ye Trpos Xoyov aAA' alviTTerai, & 
^eXriare, /cat odros /cat 01 aAAot Se TTOtTyrai cr;^e8ov 
Tt Travres'. ecm re yap (f)vcr€t TTOi-qriKr] rj avp^Traaa 
C alviyfiarwSrjs /cat 01) tou Trpocrrvxovros dvSpos 
yvcopiaai' ert 8e tt/oos' toj ^vaei roiavrrj elvai, orav 
Xd^rjrai dvhpos (f)6ov€pov re /cat {xrj ^ovXofxevov 
rjfiiv ivBeiKwadai dAA' diroKpinTTeadai on /xaAicrra 
TT^v auTou ao(f)Lav, VTrepcfyvios Brj to ■x^prjp.a d)S Sva- 
yviocrrov <j)aiverai, 6 ri ttotc voovaiv eKacrros avrcbv. 
ov yap S-QTrov "Opuqpov ye tov deiorarov re /cat 
aocfxLrarov TTOLTjrrjv dyvoeXv So/cetj, cos" ov)( olov re 
rjv eTTLGTaadai KaKWS' eKelvos ydp eariv 6 Xeycov 
TOV ^lapyirrjv ttoXXo. fiev inlaTaadaL, KaKws Se, 
D (fy-qai, irdvTa rjTrlaTaTO^' aAA' alvirTerai, oi/iai, Trap- 
dycov TO KaKcos fxkv avTt tov /ca/cou, to Se i^Trtora- 
To dvTL tov eTTLCTTaadai,' yiyverai ovv avvTedev e^o) 
fxev TOV p.€Tpov, eari 8' o ye ^ovXerai, u)s tt-oAAo, 
jxev rjTTLaTaTO epya, /ca/cov he -^v eiriaTaadai 
avTO) TvdvTa Tavra. SrjXov ovv otl etrrep rjv avrcp 
KaKOV TO TToXXd elSevai, <j)avX6s tls a)v eTvy^avev , 
eiTTep ye TTioTevew Set rot? Trpoetpr^jLteVot? Aoyot?. 
E AAK. 'AAA' ep,ot /xev 80/cet, u) HojKpares' rj 
^aXencos y' dv aAAot? rtat TrtcrreucratyLtt Aoyots", 
etnep pbrjBe tovtols. 

5n. Kat opddJs ye' crot SokcX. 

AAK. IlaAtv ay fxoi 80/cet. 

5n. 'AAAo. ^e'pe Trpo? Ato? — opas ydp S-qirov 
Tr]v drroplav oar] re /cat oia* ravTTjs Sr) /cat av /jloi 
'^ TjTriffTaTo Bekker: ewicTTaadaL mss. 

^ This trick of twisting the words of a quotation into an 


apposite, Socrates ? For to my mind it has nothing 
to do with the point. 

soc. It is very much to the point : but he, good 
sir, hke almost every other poet, speaks in riddles. 
For poetry as a whole is by nature inchned to 
riddling, and it is not ever\- man who can apprehend 
it. And furthermore, besides haxing this natural 
tendency, when it gets hold of a grudging person 
who ^vishes not to show forth to us his o^^^l wisdom 
but to conceal it as much as possible, we find it an 
extraordinarily difficult matter to make out whatever 
this or that one of them may mean. For surely you 
do not suppose that Homer, di\inest and ^\isest of 
poets, did not know it was impossible to know ill ; 
for it is he who says of Margites that he knew many 
things, but knew them all ill : but it is a riddle, I 
think, in which he has made " ill " stand for " evil," 
and " knew " for " to know." So if we put it 
together, letting the metre go, indeed, but grasping 
his meaning, we get this : " Full many crafts he 
knew, but it was evil for him to know them all." ^ 
Then clearly, if it was evil for him to know many 
things, he was in fact a paltry fellow, assuming 
we are to believe what we have previously argued. 

ALc. But I think we may, Socrates : at least, if I 
cannot believe those arguments of ours, I shall find 
it hard to trust any others. 

soc. And you are right in so thinking. 

ALC. I repeat that I think so. 

soc. But come now, in Heaven's name— for I 
suppose you see how great and strange is our per- 
plexity, in which you, as it seems to me, have your 

unnatural meaning is quite characteristic of Socrates. Cf, 
Protag. 343-7. 



BoKels K€Koi,va>vr)K€vai,' fxera^aXXofjuevos ye rot 
dvo) /cat Karoj ouS' otlovv Travrj, aAA' o Tt av fxa- 
Xiara aoi Bo^r], rovro koI e/cSeSu/ceVat av Kat 
148 OVKCTL (LaavTOJS SoKetv — el ovv aoi y' eVt /cat vw 
ificjyavrjs yevofxevos 6 Oeos, irpos ov rvyxo-vcLs 
7Topev6fM€vos, ipojT'qaeLe, Trplv otlovv ev^aadai, ae, 
et i^apKeaei crot eKeivwv ri yeviaOai (Lvnep /cat €V 
cipxf] eXeyero, etre avra> aot eTnrplijjeiev ev^aadai, 
Tt ttot' av otet r) tcov Trap' eKelvov SiSoiJievcov XajJt,- 
^dvcov t) avros €V^dp,evos ycveadai rod Kaipov 
Tvxelv ; 

AAK. 'AAAa {xd rovs deovs, iyco ybkv ovOev dv 
exoifiL aot eiTTelv, (L Sa»/cpare?, ovtcjs' aAAa fxapyov 
B Tt /xot So/cet etvat, /cat cti? aAT^^ois" ttoAAt^S" (f)vXaKrjs, 
07TC0S [MTj XrjaeL tls avrov €Vxop.evos fiev /ca/ca, 
BoKcbv 8e rdyadd, eVetT* oAiyor CTTiaxdiv, oirep 
/cat en) e'Aeye?, 7raAtva;87^, dvevxojMevos drr dv to 
TTpwTOV eu^rjTai. 

isn. 'Ap' ow ovxL etScus" Tt irXeov rjfxcov 6 TTOtTjTTys', 
ou /cat ev dpxfj tov Xoyov eTre fxvqaOrjv, ra SetAa^ 
/cat evxo}J.€vois diraXe^eiv eKeXevev; 

AAK. "E/xotye 8o/cet. 

Sn. TouTov fxev Toivvv, cS 'AXKi^idSr], Kat, 
C AaKchaLfMovioL rov TroLrjTrjv e^TjAco/cdres', e'tVe /cat 
auTot ouTcos" i7T€aK€Hfji€VOL, Kttt tSto, /Cat Br]p,oaLa 
e/caCTTOT€ TTapaTrXrjoiav €VXT]v evxovrai, to, /caAd 
CTTt rot? aya^ots" tou? deovs SiSdvat KeXevovTes av 
a<f}l,aLV avTols' TrAetoj^ 8' ouSei? av eKeivayv ev^a- 
fievcov aKovaeiev. roiyapovv els to TraprJKOv rov 

^ dei\a Buttmann : deiva, drjXa mss. 
^ irXeiw Burnet: ttX^ov, irXeiuv MSS. 



share ; for you change about from this side to that 
without settHng down for a moment, but as soon as 
you are firmly con\inced of a thing you seem to slip 
out of it again and cease to hold the same view — well, 
if the god to whom you are going should even now 
appear to you and ask, before you uttered any prayer, 
whether you would be content to obtain one of those 
things which were mentioned at the beginning, or 
whether he should leave you to pray as you were, 
how do you suppose you would make the best of 
your chance — by accepting his offer, or by praying 
for something on your own account ? 

ALC. Well, by the gods, I could not answer your 
question, Socrates, offhand. Why, I take it to be a 
fatuous request,^ when it is really a case for great 
caution lest one pray unawares for what is evil while 
thinking it to be one's good, and then after a little 
while, as you were saying ,2 one change one's tune 
and retract all one's former prayers. 

soc. And did not the poet whom I quoted at the 
beginning of our discussion ^ know more than we, 
when he bade us pray for the averting of what is 
grievous, even though we pray for it ? 

ALC. I think so. 

soc. Then it is their admiration of this poet, 
Alcibiades, or perhaps the result of their own study, 
that causes the Spartans to offer a similar prayer 
whether the occasion be private or pubhc — that the 
gods will give them for their own benefit the beautiful 
as well as the good : more than this no one can ever 
hear them pray for. The consequence is that to the 

1 i.e., that I should answer offhand. The pun in ndpyov, 
alluding to the " fatuous " Margites, cannot be rendered in 

* 142 D. » 143 A. 



Xpovov ovhevcDV t^ttov evrvx^ls elalv dvdpcoTTOL' 
et 8' apa kol ovix^e^rjKev avrols ware \ir\ Trdvra 
evrvx^^v, dAA' ovv ov 8ta rrjv cKelvcov evx^v- IttI 
D Tols deoXs 8' ioTLV a>ar€, olp.aL, /cat 8i8ovat arr' av 
TLS €VXop'€Vos TvyxoLvrj Kal ravavrta rovrcov. 

BouAo/xat 8e croi /cat erepov ti Sirjy-qaaadai, 6 
TTore rJKOvaa tcjv Trpea^vrepcov tivwv, cos ^AOrjvaLOLS 
/cat Aa/ceSai/i.ovtots' 8ta^opas' yevofievr]? avve^aivev 
del rfj TToAet rjfMcov ware Kal Kara yrjv /cat Kara 
ddXarrav , onore /xax^ yevoiro, Bvarvx^Zv /cat 
jjLTjSeTTore BvvaaOai Kparrjaaf rovs ovv ^ Adrjvaiovs 
dyavaKTOVvras tw Trpaypbari /cat aTTopovfJuevovs , 
rivi XP^ P'VX^^fJ "^^^ TrapovroiV /ca/ccov aTTorpoTTrjv 
E evpeZv, ^ovXevofMevois avrols So/cetv Kpariarov 
€tvat TTepupavras Trpos " Apip.(x>va eKcZvov iTrepwrdv 
en 8e Trpos rovrois rdSe, Kal dvd^ orov Aa/ce8at- 
fxovLOts ot deol [xdXXov vlktjv 8t8dacrtv rj a(f)iaiv 
avrols, ot rrXeiaras, <j)dvai, fiev dvaias Kal /caAAt'crra? 
ra}v 'EAAt^vcov dyop,ev, dvadrjixacri re KeKoapL-q- 
Kafiev rd lepd avriov cos ovSeves aAAot, irop^Tras 
re TToXvreXeardras Kal aepivordras ehcopovp,e6a 
rots deoLs dv' eKaarov eros, Kal ereXovp,ev XP'^P''^'^^ 
149 oaa oyS' ot d'AAot avfjirravres "^XXiqves' Aa/ce8at- 
fiovLOLS 8e, (f)dvai,, ouSeTrcoTTor' ijJieXrjaev ovoev 
rovrcov, dAA' ovrcos oXcycopcos 8td/cetvTat Trpo? 
Toys' deovs, oiore /cat dvdTTrjpa dvovatv eKaurore 
Kal rdXXa Trdvra ovk oXiyco evheearepcos rLfxcoaiv 
7]7Tep rjfMels, XPVH'^'^^ ovSev eXdrrco KeKrrfpbevoi rrjs 
rjfjierepas TToXecos- e^rel Br) elprjKevac ravra /cat 

^ This seems to be the meaning of the Greek, which is 
certainly not Platonic. In Aristotle, Phys. iv. 13. 5 6 irapriKuv 
XP^fos means " past time." 


present time * they have been just as fortunate as any 
other people ; and if it has befallen them to be not 
invariably fortunate, it was anyhow not owing to 
their prayer. It rests with the gods, I conceive, to 
give us either what we may pray for or the reverse. 
And I would hke to give you an account of some- 
thing else, which I once heard from some of my 
seniors. A quarrel ha\ing arisen between the 
Athenians and the Spartans, it befell our city to be 
always unsuccessful in every battle by land and sea, 
and she could never win a victory. So the Athenians, 
in their annoyance at this result, and at a loss for 
some means of finding a dehverance from the trouble 
they were in, took coiuisel together and decided that 
the best thing they could do was to send and inquire 
of Ammon ^ ; and moreover, to ask also for what 
reason the gods granted victory to the Spartans 
rather than to themselves : " for we " — such was the 
message — " offer up to them more and finer sacrifices 
than any of the Greeks, and have adorned their 
temples vnth votive emblems as no other people have 
done, and presented to the gods the costhest and 
statehest processions year by year, and spent more 
money thus than all the rest of the Greeks together. 
But the Spartans have never taken any such pains, 
and indeed are so neglectful in their behaviour to the 
gods, that they make a practice of sacrificing defec- 
tive victims, and generally are very much behind us 
in the honours that they pay, though the wealth 
they possess is quite equal to that of our city." When 

* An Ethiopian god whose cult spread over Egypt, and 
through Cyrene to various parts of Greece : he had temples 
at Thebes and Sparta, but the famous one in the Libyan 
desert is probably meant here. 



CTTcpcorijaai,, ri XPI Trpdrrovras avrovs rcbv 
TTapovTcov KaKwv aTTaXXayrjv evpeiv, aAAo /xev 
B ovdev dTTOKpcOrjvai rov irpo^iqrriv — rov yap deov 
ovK edv SrjXov on — KoXeaavra 8e avrov, ^Adrjvaioig, 
<j)dvai, raSe Ae'yei "Ap.p.ojv (firjalv dv ^ovXeadai 
avrcp TTjv AaKeBai fiovLcov €V(jirjjj,i.av etvai fiaXXov 
7] rd avfJbTTavra tcov 'EXXt^vojv lepa. roaavra 

€L7T€LV, OVK€TL TTepaLTepO). T7JV y' OVV €V<f}'r]IJt,LaV OVK 

dXXrjv TLvd [MOL SoKcl Xeyetv 6 deos •^ r'qv evx^^v 
avTcbv eari yap rep dvri ttoXv hia^epovcra rcov 

C dXXcov. ol fiev ydp dXXoi "EAAtji^c? ol fxev xP^(^d- 
K€pa>s ^ovs 7TapaaT'r](Tdp,€Vot, erepot S' dvadiqp,aaL 
ScopovfxevoL rovs deovs, evxovTai drr^ dv tv^XI 
ravra, dv re dyadd dv re /ca/ca* ^Xaacf)r}fMovvra}v 
OVV avrcbv dKovovreg ol deol ovk airohexovrat ras 
TToXvreXels ravraal 7Top.Trds re /cat dvaias. aAAo. 
So/cet pLOi TTcXXrjs (f)vXaKrjs SelcrOaL /cat a/ce</»e cos", o 
Ti TTore prjreov earl /cat fxiq. 

Eupi^crets' 8e /cat Trap' 'Op.ripcp erepa TTapa- 
TrX'qcTLa rovrois elpr]p.eva. (^rjol ydp rovs Tpojag 

D eiravXiv 7TOLovp.evovs 

epheiv ddavdroiGi reXrjeaaas eKaropb^as' 

rrjv 8e Kvlaav e/c rov TreStou rovs dvefiovs <j)epeLv 
ovpavov elaa> 

'qSelov rrjs S' ov Tt deovs fxaKapas SareeaOat, 
ou8' edeXeiv pidXa ydp a<j)iv d-nrixdero "lAto? Ipy] 
E /cat YipiapLos /cat Aaos" evpi,p.eXioj flptajuoto' 

uyare ovhev avrots "^v irpovpyov dvetv re /cat Sojpa 

^ The use of a-KOKpid^vaL for " answered " instead of the 


they had so spoken, and added the question, -svhat 
they should do in order to find a dehverance from 
the trouble they were in, the prophet's only answer^ — 
evidently it was all that the god allowed — was to call 
them to him and say : " Thus saith Ammon to the 
Athenians : I would rather have the reverent reserve ^ 
of the Spartans than all the ritual of the Greeks." 
So much he said, and not a word further. Now by 
" reverent reserve " I suppose the god could only 
mean their prayer, since in fact it differs greatly 
from those that are generally offered. For the 
Greeks in general either lead up bulls with gilded 
horns, or else present the gods with, votive emblems, 
and pray for any odd thing, whether it be good or 
bad : so when the gods hear their irreverent speech 
they reject all these costly processions and sacrifices. 
Whereas I think we ought to be very cautious, and 
fully consider what is to be said and what is not. 

And in Homer too you Mill find other tales of a 
similar sort. For he relates how the Trojans, in 
making their bivouac. 

Sacrificed to the immortals perfect hecatombs, 
and how the Avinds bore the sweet savour from the 
plain into heaven : 

But the blessed gods partook not of it, nor would have it. 

For deep was their hate against holy Ilium, 

And Priam, and the folk of Priam of the good ashen spear.' 

So it was nothing to their purpose to sacrifice and 

usual airoKpivaadai is evidence for placing the writer a good 
deal later than Plato. 

* ev(f>rj/jLia means " avoidance of speech that may offend " — 
the opposite being ^Xaarprt/jUa. 

* The four lines directly quoted are not in our manu- 
scripts of Homer, but have been inserted in modern texts as 
II. viii. 548, 550-2. 



reXetv [Marrjv, deals a7T7])(67]fj,€vovs • ov yap, oi/xai, 


irapdyeaOai olov KaKov roKLaTtjv oAAa Kal rjnels 
evijOrj Xoyov Xeyopuev, a^LOVvres Aa/ceSat/xovtcov 
ravrrj irepLelvaL. Kal yap av Setvov etrj, et Trpos 
TO, Swpa Kal TO.? Ovaias oiTro^XeTTovaiv rjfiojv ol 
deoi, dAAd pLTj Trpos rrjv i/rup^i^v, av rts oglos Kal 
150 BtKatos cov TvyxavT]. ttoXXu) ye p,aXXov, ot/xat, 
Tj TTpos Tcts" rroXvreXeZs ravras TTOfMnds re /cat 
Ovaias, as ovSev KcoXvei, ttoXXol p.kv els deovs, ttoXXo. 
8' els dvdpdiTTOVs rjiMapTTjKoras Kal lSi,<xmrjv Kal 
ttoXlv eyeiv dr' eKaarov eros reXelv ol 8e, are ov 
ScopoBoKoi ovres, Kara^povovaiv aTravrcov rovrwv, 
ws (fyrjCTLV 6 deos Kal decov nTpo^r]rrjS. KLvhvve^6eL 
yovv /cat Trapd deoZs Kal Trap" dvOpcorrois rots vovv 
e-)(ov(Ji St/catocrw7j re Kal (jipovrjcris 8La(f)ep6vTCOs re- 
B rLfirjadai. (f)p6vLiJ,0L Se /cat St/catot ovk dAAot rives 
elaiv {riY rwv elSorcov d Set irpdrreiv /cat Xeyeiv 
Trpos deovs Kal Trpos dvdpa>TTovs. ^ovXolpirjv S' av 
/cat TTvOeadai 6 ri TTore ev vcp e^^is TTpos ravra. 

AAK. 'AAA' ifxoi, c5 Ha)K pares, ovk dXXrj tttj 
8o/cet ^ fjTTcp aoi re Kal rco deep- ovBe yap av ecKos 
etrj dvrLilir](f>ov e/xe rw dew yeveadai. 

2fl. OvKovv pbeiJivrjcraL ev TToXXfj dTTopia (jiaaKOiV 
elvai, oTTcos p^rj Xddrjs aeavrov evxdp,evos /ca/ca, 
C So/ccDv 8e dyadd; 

AAK. "Eyojye. 

2n. 'Opas ovv, d)s OVK da^aXes aoi eariv eXdetv 
Trpos rov deov ev^op,evcp, Iva P'Tjb^ dv ovrco rvxj], 
^Xaacl>rjp,ovvr6s oov dKovcov ovdev dTToSe^7]rai rrjs 
dvaias ravrrjs, rv)(6v Be /cat erepov ri TrpoaaTTO- 

^ Tj del. Winckelmann. 


pay tribute of gifts in vain, when they were hated 
by the gods. For it is not, I imagine, the way of 
the gods to be seduced with gifts, hke a base usurer. 
And indeed it is but silly talk of ours, if we claim to 
surpass the Spartans on this score. For it would be 
a strange thing if the gods had regard to our gifts 
and sacrifices instead of our souls, and the piety and 
justice that may be found in any of us. Far rather 
at these, I beheve, do they look than at those costly 
processions and sacrifices which are offered, it well 
may be, by indi\-idual and state, year in, year out, 
though they may have offended greatly against the 
gods, or as greatly against their neighbours. But 
the gods are not to be won by bribes, and so they 
despise all these things, as Ammon and the holy 
prophet say. Certainly it would seem that justice 
and ^\^sdom are held in especial honour both by 
the gods and by men of intelligence ; and 'snse 
and just are they alone who know what acts and 
words to use towards gods and men. But I should 
like now to hear what may be your opinion on the 

ALc. Why, Socrates, it in no wise differs from yours 
and the god's ; for indeed it would not be fitting 
for me to record my vote against the god. 

soc. And you remember you professed to be in 
great perplexity lest you should pray unawares for 
e\il, while supposing it to be good } 

ALC. I do. 

soc. You see, then, how unsafe it is for you to 
approach the god with your prayers, for it may 
chance that when he hears your irreverent speech 
he will reject your sacrifice altogether, and you may 
perhaps be accorded some other bad thing as well. 




Xavarjs. e/zot fj.ev ovv SoKel ^eArioTOV etvat 
7)av)(Lav €X€tv. rfj /xev yap Aa/ceSat/xov'tcov evxfj 
Sto. TT7V fxeyaXoi/jvxtav — rovro yap KoXXiorov rcbv 
iv dcf)po(jvvrj ye ovofMarcov — ovk av ot/xai ae ideXeiv 
XP'fjcrdoii- dvayKalov ovv icrrl TrepLfieveiv, ecus 
dv ris p-d-Orj, (x)s Sei Trpos deovs /cat Trpos dvdpcoTTovs 

AAK. riore ovv irapecrrat, 6 XP^^^^ ovrog, c5 
HcoKpareg, /cat ris 6 Traihevaajv; TJSLara yap dv 


5n. OwTO? (S jLte'Aet Trept crou. dAAo. 8o/cet //.oi, 
(xiOTTCp TO) AlO/X7J8et <^17(Tt T17V 'A^Tji/av "Ofjbrjpos (XTTO 
Tcuv o^daXjJLcbv d<^eXeiv rrjv dxXvv, 

o(f)p^ €v yiyvaxjKoi rjfMev Oeov rjhe /cat dvSpa, 

E ovTO) /cat (Tot Setv dno rrjs 4'^XV^ irpuyrov rrjV 
dxXvv d<j>eX6vra, t] vvv Trapovaa rvyxdvei, ro 
TrjviKavr' rjh-q Trpoacftepeiv 8t' J)v /xeAAets" yvdxrecrdai 
rip,ev KaKov i^Se /cat iadXov. vvv fiev yap ovk dv 
fiOL So/cet? Svvqdrjvai. 

AAK. 'A^atpetVoj, etVe ^ovXerai rrjv dxXvv etre 
aAAo Tf COS" eyco TrapecrKevaafxai [MTjdev dv (jivyelv 
rdjv VTT eKeivov vpoaraTTop,€vojv , oaris ttot earlv 
dv9po)7Tos,^ €t ye fieXXoifj-i ^eXricov yeviaOai. 
151 2n. 'AAAo, jU-T^v /cd/cetvoj davixaarrjv oa'qv Trepl 
ae irpodvp.iav ex€i. 

AAK. Ets Tore roLVVv /cat ti^v dvaiav dva^dXXe- 
adai Kpdriarov elvai /xot 8o/cet. 

2n. Kat opdcos ye aoi SoKel- a(j(j)aXeaTepov yap 
icTTLV 7j TTapaKLvhwevetv rocrovrov kIvSvvov. 

AAK. 'AAAo, TTcos, CO TicoKpares ; /cat fxrjv rovrovl 

' &v$puiros Schanz : dvdpuiros, 6 dfOpuiTros Mss. 


In my opinion, therefore, it is best to hold your 
peace : for I expect you ^vill not consent to use the 
Spartan's prayer, you have such a romantic spirit — to 
give it the fairest of folly's names. ^ It is necessary, 
therefore, to bide one's time until one can learn how 
one should behave towards gods and men. 

ALC. Well, when >\-ill that time arrive, Socrates, 
and who is to be my instructor ? For I feel I should 
very mu(ih like to see who the man is. 

soc. It is he who is concerned about you. But I 
think, as Homer relates how Athena removed the 
mist from the eyes of Diomede, 

That he might well discern both god and man,* 

so you too must first have the mist removed which 
now enwraps your soul, and then you will be ready 
to receive the means whereby you will discern both 
evil and good. For at present I do not think you 
could do so. 

ALC. Let him remove the mist or whatever else 
he hkes to call it : for I am prepared to obey every 
one of his commands, ■without shirking, whoever the 
man may be. so long as I am to be the better for 

soc. I tell you, he on his part is prodigiously 
anxious to help you. 

ALC. Then I think it best to defer the sacrifice also 
till the time comes. 

soc. And you are quite right : for that is safer 
than running so serious a risk. 

ALC But how say you, Socrates ? Look now, I 

1 Cf. 140 c. 2 n. V. 127. 



rov are<j)avov, eireihri /xot hoKels KaAco? cru/x- 
^e^ov\evK€vai, aol TrepiOiqao)- rols deols 8e Kat, 

B are(f)dvovs Kat raAAa Trdvra rd vofMilofJueva rore 
Sa>CTO/xev, orav eKeivrjV ttjv rnxipav eXdovcrav lSco. 
•n^et 8' ov Sid jJbaKpov rovrwv deXovrcov. 

2n. 'AAAa 8e%o/xat Kat rovro, Kat aAAo Se dv Tt 
Tc3v Trapa aou Sodevrcuv rjSecus tSot/xt Se^ajxevov 
ifjiavrov. ojuTrep Se Kat c5 Kpeojv KvpnTthr] TreTrotTj- 
rat Tov Tetpecrt'av ISchv exovra rd aTe(f)rj Kat 
aKovaas arro tcov TToAe/AtW dirap^ds aindv etXt]- 
(f>evai Sio. T17V rexi'fjv, 

olojvov idefM-qv, j)r]ai, KoWiviKa <ad>^ ar€(f)7]' 
iv ydp KXvhcovi Ketjite^', waTvep olada av 

Q ovrco Se Kayoj irapd crov rr]V So^av raxjr-qv olcovov 
ridefiai. Sokco Se jxot, ovk iv eXdrrovi KXvSoivi 
rov KpeovTos etvai, koI ^ovXoifxrjv dv KaXXiviKos 
yeveaBa.i rcov acbv ipaarajv. 

i era Eur. Phoen, 858 : om. mss. 



will crown you with this garland, as I consider you 
have given me such good ad\ice ; and to the gods 
we shall offer both garlands and all the other 
customary things when I see that day has come. 
And come it will ere long, if they are willing. 

soc. Well, I accept this gift ; and anything else 
besides, that you may give me, I shall be only too 
happy to accept.^ And as Euripides has made Creon 
say when he sees Teiresias wearing his wreaths, and 
hears that he has obtained them, on account of his 
art, as ftrst-fruits of the spoils of war : 

As omen good I take thy victor's wreaths ; 

For in the waves we labour, as thou knowest, — * 

so do I take this opinion of yours as a good omen. 
For I consider I am no less wave-tossed than Creon, 
and would hke to come off victorious over your 

* The Greek here is literally — " I should gladly see myself 
to have accepted " — which seems very unplatonic. 

* Eurip. Phoen. 858-9. The blind prophet Teiresias has 
been crowned by the Athenians for the aid he has given them 
in a successful war. Eteocles, the young king of Thebes, 
has left the city in charge of his uncle Creon while he is 
fighting his brother Polynices for the possession of the 

VOL. VIII T 273 



The Hipparchus is probably not a genuine work of 
Plato, who would surely have conducted the dis- 
cussion with more grace and spirit and consecution. 
Nevertheless it is not without interest to the student 
of the Platonic dialogues. The subject — the mean- 
ing of the common phrase, " a lover of gain," 
and its general handling, are truly Socratic, and 
the language shows that the writer had a fairly close 
and accurate grasp of Platonic idiom. A series of 
definitions are suggested by Socrates' anonymous 
companion, and these are in turn exposed as con- 
flicting with each other or the truth. After proving 
that gain is not made from worthless things, and 
that it is not the same as good, Socrates gives an 
account of the wise and beneficent rule of Hipparchus' 
in Athens (527-514 B.C.), and of the cause of the 
conspiracy which brought about his death. This 
digression, although it gives its name to the Avhole 
dialogue, is connected with the conversation by 
but one flimsy thread — one of the maxims which 
Hipparchus inscribed by the roadside for the edifica- 
tion of the people : this maxim — " Deceive not a 
friend " — has a bearing, not on any subject of the 
debate, but only on a momentary difference between 
Socrates and his friend. Socrates then allows the 
friend to retract some of his previous statements, 


and gets the reply that some gain is good, some 
e\"il. But we want to know what gain itself is, 
whether it be good or e\il ; it is not the same as an 
acquisition, for it is only when an acquisition is good 
that we call it gain. It seems, after all, that gain 
must be something good. The same result is reached, 
if we consider the relation of gain to value or worth ; 
for the valuable is profitable, and the profitable is 
good. The conversation ends with a short re- 
capitulation, showing how obsciu-e the meaning of 
gain really is, and how unsafe it is to reproach any- 
one with being " a lover of gain." 






St. H 2n. Tt yap to ^tAo/cepSeV; ri nore iari, /cat rtves 
^' " ol ^tAo/cepSets-; 

ET. 'E/iot fxev BoKovaLV, ol av KepSaiveiv d^tcoaiv 
aTTO rcbv fMTjSevos d^icov. 

Sn. Horepov ovv aoi SoKovai, yLyvcooKovres, on 
ovhevos ioTLV d^ia, -q dyvoovvres ; et yap ayvoovv- 
T€S, dvoT^rovs Xeyeis rovs ^iXoKepheZs . 

ET. 'AAA' ovK dvoriTovs Xeyo), aAAa iravovpyovs 

Kal TTOvrjpovs /cat t^ttods tov KcpSovs, yiyv(x>- 

OKovras OTt ouSevo? a^ia eariv a<^' u)v ToXp,6jaL 

B Kephaiveiv , o/^ws roXpdv (fyiXoKephelv hi dvaiaxvv- 


2n. ^Ap' ovv roiovhe Xeyeis tov (f)t,XoK€pBrj, 
otov idv (fjvrevojv yecopytKos dvrjp /cat yiyvwaKOJV 

OTt Ot'SeVO? d^LOV TO <f)VT6v, d^lOL ttTTO TOVTOV €K- 

Tpa<f}€VTOs K€phaiveLV ; dpa tolovtov avTov Xeyeis ; 

ET. 'Atto TravTos o ye (jaXoKeph-qs, cS UtOJKpaTes, 
oicTat helv K€phaiv€t,v. 



Socrates, Fhiend 

soc. And what is love of gain ? What can it be, 
and who are the lovers of gain ? 

FR. In my opinion, they are those who think it 
worth while to make gain out of things of no worth. 

soc. Is it your opinion that they know those 
things to be of no worth, or do not know ? For if 
they do not know, you mean that the lovers of gain 
are fools. 

FR. No, I do not mean they are fools, but rascals 
who -wickedly yield to gain, because they know 
that the things out of which they dare to make their 
gain are worthless, and yet they dare to be lovers 
of gain from mere shamelessness. 

soc. Well now, do you mean by the lover of gain 
such a man, for instance, as a farmer who plants 
something which he knows is a worthless herb, and 
thinks fit to make gain out of it when he has reared 
it up ? Is that the sort of man you mean ? 

FR. The lover of gain, as such, Socrates, thinks he 
ought to make gain from everything. 



2n. Mti fioL ovrcos elKrj, a>a7T€p ri rjSiKrjaevos 

Kj V7TO TLVOs, aAAa Trpoae^tov efxoi rov vow aTTOKpivai, 

ojCTTep du el i^ ^PXV^ ttolXlv rjpcoTOiV ovxl o/xo- 

AoyeXs tov (^iXoKepSij iTTicrr'^fxova elvai irepl rrjs 

a^las rovrov, odev Kephalveiv a^toX; 

ET. "Kyojye. 

2n. Tls ovv eTTLorr^piCDV Trepl (f)vra)V rrjs d^ias, 
ev OTTOLO, d^ia (f)VT€v6rjvaL Kal a>pa /cat ■)(ix)pa; 
Lva Tt Kal r}u,€LS rcov aocbcbv priLbdraiv iuBdAcDuev , 
ixiv OL oegiOL Trept, ras oi/cas' KaAALeTrovvraL. 
D ET. Eyoj jxev otfxai, yecjpyov. • 

2n. To ovv d^iovv^ Kephaiveiv dXXo tl Xeyeis rj 
oieaOai SeXv KepSaiveiv ; 

ET. TovTO Xeyo}. 

2n. Mr) roivvv /xe eTTix^ipei i^aTrardv, dvSpa 
226 npea^vrepov yjSrj ovroj veos lov, d'noKpivop.cvo'S 
ojairep vvv hrj, a ouS' avros o'Ul, aAA' ws dXr)6a)s 
etTre' dp ^ kariv ovriva o'Ul yecopyiKOV dvhpa 
yiyvoixevov, Kal yiyvaycTKOvra, on ovSevos d^iov 
(f)vrev€i TO (^vrov, o'Uadai drro rovrov Kephaivew ; 

ET. Ma Ai ovK eycoye. 

2fl. Tt 8e ; Ittttlkov dvhpa yiyvayoKovra, ort 
ovoevos agia crtrta toj ltttto) 7rape)(€Ly ayvoav avrov 

OL€L, OTL TOV L7T7TOV Sttt^^etpet/ 

ET. OvK eyojye. 
B 2n. OvK dpa oterat ye drro rovrcov KepSatveLV 
r(x)v acTLcuv rdjv fxrjSevos d^icov. 

^ TO a^ioOv Etwall : tov &^iOi> mss. 
'■^ eliri • Up' Boeckh : eiTrep mss. 

^ The " artful phrase " here is the jingling ibpa Kal xwpa, 


soc. Please do not speak so recklessly, as though 
you had been -wTonged by someone, but give me 
your attention and answer just as you would if I 
were beginning my questions over again. Do you 
not admit that the lover of gain has knowledge of 
the worth of the thing from which he thinks it worth 
while to make gain ? 

FR. I do. 

soc. Then who has knowledge of the worth of 
plants, and of the sort of season and soil in which 
they are worth planting — if we too may throw in one 
of those artful phrases ^ which adroit pleaders use to 
trick out their speeches in the law courts .'' 

FR. For my part, I should say a farmer. 

soc. And by " think it Avorth while to make gain " 
do you mean aught but " thinking one ought to- 
make gain " ? 

FR. I mean that. 

soc. Then do not attempt to deceive me, who am 
now quite an elderly person, and you so young, by 
making, as you did just now, an answer that is not 
even your own thought ; but tell me in all truth, do 
you suppose that any man who was taking up farming 
and who knew it was a worthless plant that he was 
planting, could think to make gain from it ? 

FR. Upon my word, I do not. 

soc. Or again, take a horseman who knows that he 
is pro\iding worthless food for his horse ; do you 
suppose he is unaware that he is destroying his horse ? 

FR. I do not. 

soc. So he does not think to make gain from that 
worthless food. 

characteristic of the rhetoric taught by Gorgias and his 



ET. OvxL 

2n. Tt Be; KV^epvqrrjv iJ,r)B€v6s d^ia laria /cat 
TTTjSaAta rfj v7]l TrapeaKevaanevov ayvoelv oiet, 
on ^rjfitojd'qcreraL /cat KLvSvvevcrei /cat avros 
OLTToXeadai, /cat T'qv vavv airoXiaai /cat a av dyrj 


ET. OvK eycoye. 

2Q. Ou/c apa o'Urai ye KepSauvetv oltto rwv 
C OKevcov Tcov ixrjSevos d^icov. 

ET. Ov ydp. 

sn. 'AAAa arpaTTjyog yiyvcooKOiv, otl t} arparid 
avro) ovSevos d'fia ovrAa e;!^et, oterat dno tovtcov 
Kephaiveiv /cat dftot /cepSatveiv; 

ET. OuSa/xa)?. 

2n. 'AAA' avXrjTTjs avXovs ovSevos d^iovs ex^ov 
7] KidapLaTrjS Xvpav t] ro^or'qs ro^ov 7) d'AAo? 6a- 
TLGOvv GvWij^Brjv T(I)v hr]p,LOvpyd)v r) rdJv dXXwv 
rdjv ep,(l)p6vcov dvSpdJv firjSevos ct^ta opyava t] 
dXXrjv TTapaaKevrjv rjvrivaovv e^cov drro tovtcov 
oterat Kephaiveiv ; 
D ET. OvKovv (f)aiveTat ye. 

2n. TtVa? ovv TTOTe Xeyeis tovs (^iXoKepSels ; ov 
yap 7TOV TovTovs ye, ovs hLeXrjXvdapiev , <dAA'>^ 
oiTives yiyvcooKovTes to. ovhevos d^ta aTro tovtcov 
otovrat Seti^ KepSaivetv ; dAA' ovtco p^ev, a» davpaaie, 
COS crv Xeyeis, ovk ear' dvdpcoircov ovhels c^iXoKephrj'S. 

ET. 'AAA' eyco, cL HcoKpaTes, ^ovXop,aL Xeyecv 
TOVTOVS (fiiXoKepSels elvai, ot eKaoTOTe vtto dnXr]- 
CTTta? /cat Trdvv cjptKpd /cat oXlyov d^ia /cat ovhevos 
E yXixovTai VTrepcfiVcbs /cat (f)iXoKephovaiv . 

2n. Ov hrjTTOv, c5 ^eXTLOTe, yiyvchoKOVTes, otl 
^ aXK add. Apelt. 


FR. No. 

soc. Or again, take a navigator who has furnished 
his ship Mith worthless spars and ropes ; do you think 
he is unaware that he ^^^i\\ suffer for it, and will be in 
danger of being lost himself, and of losing the ship 
and all her cargo ? 

FR. I do not. 

soc. So he does not think to make gain from that 
worthless tackle ? 

FR. No, indeed. 

soc. But does a general, who knows that his army 
has worthless arms, think to make gain, or think it 
worth while to make gain, from them ? 

FR. By no means. 

soc. Or does a flute-player who has worthless 
flutes, or a harper with a lyre, a bowman with a bow, 
or anyone else at all, in short, among ordinarj' crafts- 
men or sensible men in general, with any implement 
or other equipment of any sort that is worthless, 
think to make gain from it ? 

FR. To all appearance, no. 

soc. Then whoever can they be, your lovers of 
gain ? For I presume they are not the people whom 
we have successively mentioned, but people who 
know their worthless things, and yet think they 
are to make gain from them. But in that case, by 
what you say, remarkable sir, no man ahve is a lover 
of gain ! 

FR. Well, Socrates, I should like to call those lovers 
of gain who from insatiable greed consumedly long 
for things that are even quite petty and of httle or 
no worth, and so love gain, in each case. 

soc. Not knovWng, of course, my excellent friend, 



ovSevos d^id iart,' rovro fj.€V yap rjBr] rj[j,ds avrovs 
rw Xoyo) i^rjXey^afMev on dSvvarov. 

ET. "Eifioiye So/cet. 

2n. OvKovv et fMT) yiyvaxTKovres , SrjXov on 
ayvoovvres , oloyLcvoi Se rd ovhevos d^ia. ttoXXov 
d^ta elvat. 

ET. OatVerat. 

2n. "AAAo n ovv ol ye <j>LkoKepheZs <f}iXovai ro 

ET. Nat. 

2n. KepSos" Be Xeyeis ivavriov rfj ^rjjLtta; 
227 ET. "Eycoye. 

2n. "Ecrnv ovv otco dyadov ean t,7jiJ.iovadat ; 

ET. OvSevL 

2n. 'AAAa KaKov; 

ET. Nat. 

2n. BActTTTOVTat WTTo TTJs ^T^/xta? apa dvdpcoTroi. 

ET . B ActTTTo vrat . 

Sn. Ka/coi' apa rj ^rjp,i,a. 

ET. Nat. 

2Xi. 'EvavTtoi' 8e T7y Crjfii.a to KepSos. 

ET. 'EvavTtov. 

2n. *Ayad6v dpa to /cepSo?. 

ET. . Nat. 

2n. Toy? ow TO dyadov (j)iXovvTas (jaXoKcpSeLs 
/caAet? . 

ET. "EoLKev. 
B 2fi. Oi5 jJLaviKovs ye, c5 eTaZpe, Xeyei? Tovg 
^tAo/cepSeiS" . aAAo. cru avTos TTOTepov ^tAet? o av' 
aya^ov ^, t) ou ^lAeis-; 

ET. "Eycoye. 



that the things are worthless ; for we have abeady 
convinced ourselves by our argument that this is 

FR. I agree. 

soc. And if not kno^^ing this, clearly they are 
ignorant of it, but think that those worthless things 
are worth a great deal. 

FR. Apparently. 

soc. Now, of course lovers of gain must love 

FR. Yes. 

soc. And by gain you mean the opposite of loss ? 

FR. I do. 

soc. And is it a good thing for anyone to suffer 
loss ? 

FR. For no one. 

soc. Rather an evil ? 

FR. Yes. 

soc. So mankind are harmed by loss. 

FR. They are harmed. 

soc. Then loss is an evil. 

FR. Yes. 

soc. And gain is the opposite of loss. 

FR. The opposite. 

soc. So that gain is a good. 

FR. Yes. 

soc. Hence it is those who love the good that you 
call lovers of gain. 

FR. So it seems. 

soc. At least there is nothing mad, my friend, 
about lovers of gain, as you describe them. But tell 
me, do you yoiu-self love, or not love, whatever is 
good ? 

FR. I love it. 



2n. "Eart 8e tl ayadov, o ov ^lAet?, aAAct 
KaKov ; 

ET. Ma At" ovK eycoye. 

2n. 'AAAo. TTOLvra ra dy ada lctojs ^lAets. 

ET. Nat. 

2,0.. 'Epou Sr] /cat e/xe, €t oi) /cat eyco* o/AoAoyrjo-co 
yap /cat eyai CTot (f)LXelv ra dyadd. dXXd Trpos e/xot 
/cat CTot ot a'AAot dvSpoiTTOi aTravres ov SoKovai aot, 
C raya^o. ^iXelv, ra 8e /ca/ca /Lttaetv; 

ET. "E/xotye ^atVerat. 

2n. To 8e KepSos dyadov (LfxoXoyijaafiev ; 

ET. Nat. 

2n. IlavTes' au ^tAo/cepSets' ^aivovrai rovrov rov 
rpoTTOv ov Se to rrporepov iXeyofiev, ouSety •^v' 
(f>iXoK€pB'i]s. TTorepo) ovv dv tls ra> Xoyco XP^' 
p.evos OVK dv i^afiaprdvoL; 

ET. Et TLS, c5 Saj/cpares", ot/xat, opOcos Xafi- 

^dvoL rov (f)LXoK€pS7J . dpddJs 8' CCTTt rovrov 

iqyelaOai (f)iXoK€pS'q, o? at' CT770u8a^T7 evrt rovrois 

D /cat a^tot Kephaivetv dir^ avrGiv, d(f)^ wv ol ;!^/37jCTT6t 

ov ToA/xcuCTt KepSatveiv. 

2fl. 'AAA' dpas, o) yXvKvrare, ro Kephaiveiv 
dpri (hiMoXoyrjcraiiev elvat d)<j)eXeiadai. 

ET. Tt ovv hrj rovro ; 

2n. "Ort /cat To8e avrco rrpoacofioXoy-i^aapicv, 
^ovXeaOat ra dyadd Trdvras /cat det. 

ET. Nat. 

2n. OvKovv /cat ot dya^ot Trdvra ra KepS-q 
^ovXovr ai e^^iv, eXrrep ay ada ye iarriv. 
E ET. Ov/c d<^' tSr ye pieXXovaiv, a> HcoKpares, 
PXa^-qacadat rcbv KcpScbv. 

. 286 


soc. And is there anything good that you do not 
love, or must it then be evil ? 

FR. Upon my word, nothing. 

soc. In fact, I expect you love all good things. 

FR, Yes. 

soc. Well now, ask me on my side whether I do 
not like^\■ise : for I shall agree -vWth you, for my part, 
that I love good things. But besides you and me, 
do you not think that all the rest of mankind love 
good things, and hate evil things ? 

FR. It appears so to me. 

soc. And we admitted that gain is good ? 

FR. Yes. 

soc. On this new sho^ving, everyone appears to be 
a lover of gain ; whereas, by our former way of 
arguing, no one was a lover of gain. So on which 
of the two arguments are we to rely, in order to avoid 
error ? 

FR. WTiat has to be done, I think, Socrates, is to 
conceive the lover of gain rightly. The right \iew of 
the lover of gain is that he is one who concerns him- 
self "s^ith, and thinks fit to make gain from, things 
from which honest men do not dare to make gain. 

soc. But you see, my sweet sir, we have just 
admitted that making gain is being benefited. 

FR. Well, what of that ? 

soc. There is the further point we have admitted 
in addition to this — that all men -wish for good things 

FR. Yes. 

soc. Then good men likewise >\-ish to have all 
gains, if these are good things. 

FR. Not those gains from which they are bound, 
Socrates, to suffer harm. 



Sn. BXa^T^aeudai 8e Xeyeis t^rjiXLajaeadai t) d'AAo 

ET. OvK, aAAa t,riiii(x}U€(jdai Xeyco. 

2X1. 'Ttto tou Kephovs ouv ^T^/xtowrai •^ utto tti? 
^i^jLtias' dvOpioTTOi; 

ET. Ttto apL^orepcov /cat yap utto tt^j ^Tj/Atas" 
^Tj/xtowrat /cat utto tou KepSovg rod TTOviqpov. 

5n. 'H SoKet ow Tt (Tot ;^p7ycrT6v /cat aya^ov 
TTpdyfMa TTOvqpov elvai; 

ET. Ou/c epiOiye. 
228 2n. Ou/cow (hpioXoyqaapiev oXiyov Trporepbv to 
K€phos rfj t,rip,ia /ca/ca> oVrt ivavriov elvai; 

ET. Oi^/xt. 

2n. 'Evavrtov 8e 6V KaKco dyadov klvai; 

ET. '^/xoAoy7^cra/xer yap. 

2n. 'Opa? ow, i7TiX€cp€LS p,e i^anardv , inLTrjSes 
ivavria Xeycov olg dpri oj p,oXoyrj aap,€V . 

ET. Ou /MO, Ata, (5 Scfj/cpare?, dAAa rovvavriov 
av i^Le i^aTTards /cat ou/c otSa ottt] ev rot? Adyot? 
dvoj /cat Karco arpe^eis- 
B 2X2. Eu^7^p.ef ou p-eVr di^ /caAdjs" ttololt^v, ov ttcl- 
d6p,€Vos avSpt dyado) /cat aocjico. 

ET. Tivt TOVTcp; /cat Tt pbaXiora ; 

2X1. rioAtTry jLtev ejLtd) Te /cat era), XletCTtaTpaToy §6 
utet TOU 6/c OtAatSdiv, 'iTnrdpxcp, os rdJv ITetot- 
arpdrov TralScov '^v Trpea^vrarog /cat <jo<f)d)raros , os 
dAAa re TroAAd /cat KaAd epya ao<f)ias direhei^aro, 
/cat Ta 'Op,rjpov errrj TTpcoros iKojXLaev et? ttjv yrjv 
ravrrjvL, /cat T^fdy/cacre tou? pai/jcoSovg Ilavadr]- 
vaioLS i^ VTToXrjiffecos et^c^rjg avrd Suevat,, woTrep 
^ vvv eVt otSe Trotouat* /cat eTr' 'Ava/cpeovTa tov 



soc. By " suffer harm " do you mean " suffer loss," 
or something else ? 

FR. No, I mean just " suffer loss." 

soc. Well, do men suffer loss from gain or from 
loss ? 

FR. From both ; for they suffer loss from loss and 
from wicked gain. 

soc. Pray now, do you consider that any useful and 
good thing is wicked ? 

FR. I do not. 

soc. And we admitted a little while ago that gain 
is the opposite of loss, which is an evil. 

FR. I agree. 

soc. And that, being the opposite of an evil, it is 
good ? 

FR. That was our admission. 

soc. So you see, you are attempting to deceive me, 
for you deUberately contradict what we agreed to 
just now. 

FR. No, on my honour, Socrates ; on the contrary, 
it is you who are deceiving me, by tAvisting this way 
and that so perplexingly in your talk ! 

soc. Hush, hush ! Why, surely it would be wrong 
of me not to obey a good and wise person. 
- FR. Who is that ? And to what are you referring 
now ? 

soc. I mean my and your fellow-citizen, Pisistratus's 
son Hipparchus, of Philaidae, who was the eldest and 
wisest of Pisistratus's sons, and who, among the many 
goodly proofs of wisdom that he showed, first brought 
the poems of Homer into this country of ours, and 
compelled the rhapsodes at the Panathenaea to 
recite them in relay, one man following on another, 
as they still do now, He dispatched a fifty-oared 

VOL. VIII U ' 289 


Tri'Cov TrevrrjKOVTopov areiXas eKOfiLaev els r-qv 
voXlv YiifMOJviSrjv 8e rov Ketov del vepl avrov clx^, 
f^eydXoLS fjuLaOoiS Kal Bwpois TreidoiV ravra 8 
€7toUl ^ovXofxevos TTaLheveiv rovs TroAtras", iva cos 
PeXriaTOJV ovrojv avroJv dp^oi, ovk olofxevos Selv 
ovSevl ao<j)ias (f)6oveiv, are cov KaXos re Kayados. 
iTT€ihrj 8e avro) ol irepl ro darv rcov ttoXltcov 
7re7rai8ey/xeVot 7]CTav Kal idavjjial^ov avrov evrt 
D ao(j)ia, eTTL^ovXevcov av rovs iv rols dypols nai- 
hevaat earrjaev avrols 'Ep/xa? Kara rag obovs iv 
fieaip rov dareog /cat ra)v SrjjJicov eKaariov, Kdireira 
rrjs ao(j)ias rfjs avrov, rjv r' ejJiade /cat ■r]v avrog 
t^Yjvpev, eKXe^dfxevos a rjyelro ao^chrara etvai, 
ravra avros ivreivag els iXeyeXov avrov TTOirjjxara 
/cat iTTiheiyp^ara rrjs ao(f>las CTreypaifjev, tva Trpc^rov 
E fiev rd iv AeA(/>ots' ypdixfjiara rd ao(f)d ravra pirj 
davfxdt,OL€V ol TToAtrat avrov, ro re TvdJdi aavrov 
Kal rd M7y8ev dyav /cat rdAAa ra roiavra, aXXd rd 
'iTTTrdp^ov p'qfxara fxaXXov ao(j>d rjyolvro, CTvetra 
TTaptovres dvco Kal Kdrco /cat avayiyvcooKovres /cat 
yevfia Xajx^dvovres avrov rrjg ao<f>las (f>oircx)ev iK 
rdjv dypcov Kal inl rd Xotvd TraiSevdrjao/xevoi. 
iarov 8e 8ua> rdiTTLypdixpLare' iv fxev rols evr' 
229 dptarepd rov '^pp,ov eKaarov iTTLyeypaTrrai Xiywv 
6 'KpfjLTJs, on iv fMeao) rov dareos Kal rov S-qi^ov 
€a-rr]K€V, iv 8e rot? iirl 8e^ia 

p,vrip,a roh^ 'iTTTrdp^ov crrelx^ 8i/cata (f)povcov 

(firfalv. ear I he rdJv 7T0i.r)p,dra)v Kal aAAa iv dXXoLS 
'Ep^at? TToAAo. /cat KaXd imyeypajjifjieva' eari 8e 
817 /cat rovro inl rfj HreipiaKfj 08a), iv o) Xeyec 

* A town on the south-east coast of Attica. 


galley for Anacreon of Teos, and brought him into 
our city. Siraonides of Ceos he always had about 
him, prevailing on him by plenteous fees and gifts. 
All this he did from a wish to educate the citizens, 
in order that he might have subjects of the highest 
excellence ; for he thought it not right to grudge 
%\isdom to any, so noble and good was he. And when 
his people in the city had been educated and were 
admiring him for his wisdom, he proceeded next, with 
the design of educating those of the countrv'side, to 
set up figures of Hermes for them along the roads in 
the midst of the city and every district town ; and 
then, after selecting from his own wise lore, both 
learnt from others and discovered for himself, the 
things that he considered the wisest, he threw these 
into elegiac form and inscribed them on the figures 
as verses of his own and testimonies of his wisdom, 
so that in the first place his people should not admire 
those wise Delphic legends of Know thyself and 
Nothing otermuch, and the other sayings of the sort, 
but should rather regard as wise the utterances of 
Hipparchus ; and that in the second place, through 
passing up and down and reading his words and 
acquiring a taste for his wisdom, they might resort 
hither from the country for the completion of their 
education. There are two such inscriptions of his : 
on the left side of each Hermes there is one in which 
the god says that he stands in the midst of the city 
or the township, while on the right side he says : 

The memorial of Hipparchus : walk with just intent. 

There are many other fine inscriptions from his 
poems on other figures of Hermes, and this one in 
particular, on the Steiria ^ road, in which he says : 



B /Ai/^/xa ToS' 'iTTTrdpxov firj <j)iXov e^aTrara. 

iyw ovv ak ifiol ovra (f>i\ov ov St^ttou ToXjxairjv av 
e^aTTordv Kal eKeivcp toiovtco ovtl aTnareZv, ov 
/cat diToOavovTos rpia errj irvpavvivdrjcrav Adrj- 
vaioL V7t6 rod dSeAi^ou avrov 'Ittttlov, Kai Travrojv 
dv Twv TraAaicDv rJKOvaas, on ravra fiovov ra errj 
TvpavvLs iyevero iv ^Adi^vaLS, rov 8' dXXov xpovov 
iyyvs Ti e^toi^ ^ Ad-qvaloi, warrep e-nl Ys.p6vov j8aat- 
Xevovros. Xeyerai Se vtto tcov yapiearepoiv dvdpco- 

C TTCov Kal 6 ddvaros avrov yeviadai ov hi a oi 
TToXXoL wi^^T^CTai', Sta r7]v rrjs aSeA^T^? drLfJiiav rrjs 
Kavr](f)opLas, cTrei rovro ye evrjdes, dXXa rov fiev 
* App,6Siov yeyovevat rrathiKa rod ' Apiaroyeirovos 
/cat TTenaibevadaL vii eKeivov. /xe'ya 8' i(f)p6v€L 
dpa /cat o ^ Apiaroyeirwv €7tI rco TratSeucrat dvdpco- 
TTov, /cat dvraycoviurrjv rjyelro etvai rov "InTrapxov. 
iv e/cetVo) Se ra> XP^^V (^^tov rov ' App^oSiov 

D Tvyxdveiv epcovrd rivos ratv vecov re /cat KaXcbv /cat 
yevvaicov rdJv rore' /cat Xeyovai rovvop,a avrov, 
iyd) Se ov p,€p.vrjp,aL- rov ovv veaviaKov rovrov 
rews /xev davp,dt,€iv rov re ' App^ohiov /cat rov 
'Apiaroyeirova ojs GO(f)ovs, eVetra avyyevofxevov 
ru> *l7T7Tdpx<p Karacf)povrjaaL eKeivoiv, /cat rovs 
nepiaXyrjaavras ravrj] rfj drifxta ovrtos drroKrelvai 
rov "iTTTTapxov 

^ On this point the writer agrees with Thuc. vi. 59, who 
gives what is now the accepted story of Harmodius and 



The memorial of Hipparchus : deceive not a friend. 

I therefore should never dare, I am sure, to deceive 
you. Avho are my friend, or disobey the great 
Hipparchus, after whose death the Athenians were 
for three years under the despotic rule of his brother 
Hippias, and you might have heard anyone of the 
earlier period say that it was only in these years 
that there was despotism in Athens,^ and that at all 
other times the Athenians hved very much as in 
the reign of Cronos. And the subtler sort of people 
say that Hipparchus's death was due, not to the cause 
supposed by most — the disquahfication of the 
assassin's sister from bearing the basket,^ for that 
is a sillv motive — but because Harmodius had become 
the favourite of Aristogeiton and had been educated 
by him. Thus Aristogeiton also prided himself on 
educating people, and he regarded Hipparchus as a 
dangerous rival. And at that time, it is said, 
Harmodius happened to be himself in love with one 
of the handsome and well-born youths of the day ; 
they do tell his name, but I cannot remember 
it. Well, for a while this youth admired both 
Harmodius and Aristogeiton as wise men, but after- 
wards, when he associated with Hipparchus, he 
despised them, and they were so overcome with 
the pain of this •' disqualification " that they slew 

* In the Panathenaic procession. 

' This curious version of the fall of the PisLstratid rulers 
(Hippias and Hipparchus) seeks to explain the conspiracy as 
due to a rivalry in a sort of pre-Socratic influence over young 
men which arose between the citizen Aristogiton and the 
ruler Hipparchus. 



ET. KivSyp'cuetS' roivvv, & 'Eu)Kpar€s, ^ ov 

<j>iXov fie -qyelodai, rj, et rjyfj (f>iXov, ov TTeideadaL 

E iTTTTapxcp. iyco yap ottcos ov av €p,k i^aTraras, 

ovK oiS ovTLva fievroL rponov, iv rots Xoyots, ov 

SvvapbaL TTeicrdrjvai. 

2n. AAAa jjirjv /cat wavep TTerrevajv ideXco aoL 
ev rols Adyots- avadeadai 6 n BovXei rcov elpriLLeviov , 
tva firj oLfj egaTTaraavai. TTorepov yap rovro aoi 
avadcofiai, ws ovxi tcjjv dyadojv Travres imdvpiovaiv 

ET. Mt^ /xot ye. 

2n. AAA' CO? TO t,7]p.Lova6aL /cat t^ ^rjfxia ov 
KaKov ; 

ET. Mt^ /Aot ye. 

2n. AAA' (hs ov rfj ^rjp,[a /cat to) ^r]fxu>vadat to 
KepSos /cat TO KepSaivcLV ivavTiov; 
230 ET. MtjSc tovto. 

2n. AAA' (I)s ivavTLov ov rev /ca/co) ovk dyadov 
CCTTt TO KephaiveLV ; 

ET. Ourt TTav ye tovtL jxol dvddov. 

2n. Ao/cet apa crot, ojs eoiKe, tov KepSovs to p,ev 
Tt aya^dv eii^at, to he tl KaKov. 

ET. "E^otye. 

2n. AvaTidefxai Toivvv aol tovto ' eoTCJ yap h-q 
KepSos Tt aya^dv /cat erepov Kephos tl /ca/cdv 
Kephog he ye ovhev fidXXov eoTiv avTcov to dyadov 
•^ TO KaKov T] yap; 

ET. riaj? fxe epcoTas ; 

2n. 'Eyco (f)pdaco. gltIov eoTi Tt dyadov Te /cat 
B ET. Nat. 

2n. 'A/3 ow (xaXXov Tt auTcDi' eart Td erepov tov 


FR. It would seem, then, Socrates, either that you 
do not regard me as your friend, or if you do, that 
you do not obey Hipparchus. For that you are not 
decei\ing me — though I cannot tell how you contrive 
it — in your talk, is more than I can beheve. 

sec. Well now, as though we were playing draughts, 
I am ^villing to let you revoke, as you please, any- 
thing you have said in carrying on the discussion, 
in order that you may not think you are being 
deceived. So tell me, shall I revoke for you the 
statement that all men desire good things ? 

FR. No, thank you. 

SCO. Well, that suffering loss, or loss, is an e\il ? 

FR. So, thank you. 

soc. Well, that gain, or making gain, is the opposite 
of loss, or suffering loss ? 

FR. Nor that either. 

soc. Well, that making gain, as the opposite of 
evil, is a good ? 

FR. Nothing of all this do I bid you revoke for me. 

soc. You think, then, it seems, that some gain is 
good, and some e\il. 

FR. I do. 

soc. Well then, I revoke so much for you ; so let 
us assume that some gain is good, and some other 
gain e\il. But the good sort is no more gain than 
the evil sort, is it ? 

FR. What do you mean by this question ? 

soc. I will explain. Is there both good and evil 

FR. Yes. 

soc. And is the one sort more food than the other, 



erepov ctltlov, rj ofMOLOJS roirro ye, atrta, ecrrov 
aiJi(f)6r€pa /cat ravrr] ye ovhev Sia^e/3et to erepov 
rod erepov, Kara ro airiov elvai, aXka fj ro puev 
avrcov dyadov, ro 8e KaKov; 

ET. Nat. 

2n. OvKovv /cat TTorov /cat rdAAa iravra, oaa 

rojv ovrojv ravra ovra ra p.ev Trenovdev dyada 

eivaL, ra Se /ca/ca, ovSev eKeivr] ye Sta(f)epet, ro 

erepov rov erepov, fj ro avro ianv ; wcnrep 

C av6pa)7TOs S-qTTOv 6 p,ev ■)(prjar69 ianv, 6 he TTOvr^pog. 

ET. Nai. 

2n. 'AAA' dvdpcoTTos ye, otfxai, ovSerepos ovSere- 
pov ovre p,dXXov ovre rjrrov eariv, ovre 6 y^priaros 
rov TTovrjpov ovre o TTOvrjpo^ rov ^^prjarov. 

ET. ^AXrjdij XeyeLS. 

2n. OvKovv ovrio /cat irepl rov KepBovs Siavoco- 
fieda, 60? /cepSo? y€ 6p,oiois earl /cat ro TTOVTjpov /cat 
TO xP'^^'^ov; 

ET. 'AvdyKYj. 

2fl. OvSev dpa fidXXov KepBalvei 6 ro XPV^'''^^ 
KepBos e^ojv T] ro TTovrjpov ovkovv fia^ov ye 
D KcpSos (^aiverai ovSerepov 6v, cos ofMoXoyovfiev . 

ET. Nat. 

Sfl. OvBerepci) yap avrdJv ovre ro /xaAAov ouTe 
TO rjrrov Trpoaeartv. 

ET. Ov yap St]. 

2X1. To) Brj roLovrcp Trpdyfiart ttcos dv Tt? 
/jbdXXov rj rjrrov onovv dv ttoloI tj 7Tda)(oi, o) 
fiiqSerepov rovrcov trpoaeir]; 

ET. ' AS WaTOV. 

2fi. ETreiSij roivvv KepSrj p,ev 6p,oia)s earlv 
diJ,(f>6repa /cat KepBaXea, rovrl Br] Bel rjp,ds eTTi- 


or are they both similarly this same thing, food, and 
in this respect does the one differ no wise from the 
other, in being food, but only in the fact of the one 
being good and the other evil ? 

FR. Yes. 

see. And so with drink and every other class of 
things that exist, when some things in any class come 
to be good, and others evil, one thing does not differ 
from another in that respect whereby they are the 
same ? For instance, one man, I suppose, is \irtuous, 
and another wicked. 

FR. Yes. 

soc. But neither of them, I conceive, is more or 
less man than the other — neither the virtuous than 
the wicked, nor the \\'icked than the virtuous. 

FR. What you say is true. 

soc. Then are we to take the same view of gain 
also, that both the wicked and the virtuous sort are 
similarly gain ? 

FR. Necessarily. 

soc. So he who has virtuous gain is no whit the 
more a gainer than he who has wicked gain : neither 
sort is found to be more gain, as we agree. 

FR. Yes. 

soc. For neither of them has addition of either 
more or less. 

FR. No, indeed. 

soc. And how could one do or suffer anything more 
or less Mith a thing of this sort, that had neither of 
these additions ? 

FR. Impossible. 

soc. Since, therefore, both of these are gains and 
gain-making affairs, we must now consider what it 



aKeipaadai, 8ta ri 7tot€ d/Lt^orepa aura KcpSos 
E KaXets, ri ravrov iv aiJi,(f)or€poi9 opcbv ; warrep av 
€L [aY (TV fie rjpcoras ra vvv S-q, Sta rt ttotc /cat to 
ayadov airiov /cat ro /ca/cov aniov 6p,oicx)s d/x^orepa 
atrta /caAo), cIttov dv aoi, Stdrt dp,(f)6T€pa $rjpa 
rpo<j>ri acofxaros iari, Std rovro eyojye' rovro yap 
€tvat aiTtov Kav av ttov 'qpZv o/xoXoyols- '^ Y^P> 

ET. "Eycoyc. 

2n. Kat 7re/)t ttotov ovv 6 avros dv rpoTTOS etrj 
TT^? aTTOKpiaeois, on rfj rov GU)fMaTos vypa Tpo(f)7], 
231 cdv re XPV^^^I ^^^ ''"^ irovrjpd rj, rovro ro ovojxa 
ear I, rrorov /cat rots' dAAot? coaavrcog. Tretpd) ow 
/cat ay e/xe fjULfxeladaL ovrcos dTTOKpivopievov . ro 
XpT^<yr6v KepSos /cat ro novrjpov KepSos KepBos (pr]S 
apL^orepov etvat ri ro avro ev avroZs opcov, on 
8rj /cat rovro /cepSo? eariv ; el 8' aS p.r] avros 
€X€Lg OLTTOKpivacrdaL, dAA' i/xov Xeyovros a/co7ret, 
dpa KepSos Aeyet? Trdv /cr^/xa, o dv rt? Kriqar^rai, 
Tj firjSev dvaXcoaas, yj eXarrov dvaXcvaas irXeov 
Xd^T) ; 
B ET. "E/xotyc 8o/cd> rovro /caAetv K€p8os. 

2n. ^Apa /cat rd rotdSe Aeyet?, edv ti? ianadeis, 
fiTjhev dvaXiLaas dAA' evcoxfjO^is , voaov Krrjar]raL; 

ET. Md At" ovK eycoye. 

2n. 'Tyt'etav 8e Krr]adp,€vos dTTO eariaaeojs 
KcpSos dv Kr-qaairo rf iC,rjiiiav ; 

ET. KepSo?. 

2n. Ou/c dpa rovro y' ecrrt Kephos, ro oriovv 
Kri]p,a Krr]aaadai. 

ET. Ou fievroi. 

• a del. Schleiermacher. 


can be that leads you to call both of them gain : 
what is it that you see to be the same in both ? 
Suppose you were to ask me, in those instances that 
I gave just now, what it is that leads me to call both 
good food and evil food alike food, I should tell you — 
for this reason, because both are a dry sustenance of 
the body. For that, I am sure you would agree, is 
what food is, would you not ? 

FR. I would. 

see. And so too about drink the answer would be 
on the same lines, that the wet sustenance of the 
body, whether it be wholesome or pernicious, has 
this name of drink ; and likewise >\'ith the rest. 
Try therefore on your part to imitate my method of 
answering. When you say that virtuous gain and 
wicked gain are both gain, what is it that you see 
to be the same in them, judging it to be the actual 
element of gain ? And if again you are yourself 
unable to answer, just let me put it for your con- 
sideration, whether you describe as gain every 
acquisition that one has acquired either with no 
expense, or as a profit over and above one's 

FR. I beheve that is what I call gain. 

soc. Do you include a case where, after enjoying 
a banquet at which one has had much good cheer 
without any expense, one acquires an illness .'' 

FR. Upon my word, not I. 

soc. And if one acquired health from attending 
a banquet, would one acquire gain or loss ? 

FR. Gain. 

soc. Hence gain is not just acquiring any 

FR. No, indeed. 



2n. Horepov ovk, eav KaKov ; -q oi5S' av dyadov 
OTLOvv Kn](T7]raL, ov Kepbos KT-rjaerat,; 

ET. OatVerai, edv ye dyadov. 
C 2n. Eav 8e /ca/cdv, ov l^rjfiLav KT-qaerai; 

ET. "E/Aotye So/cet. 

sn. Opas ovv, cos rrdXiv av TrepirpexeiS els to 
avTo; TO p.kv KepSos dyadov (fyaiverai, rj Se i,r]p,ia 


ET. ^A-TTopoJ eycoye 6 n eiTro). 

2n. Ovk dSiKcos ye av dTTopoJv. en yap Kal 
ToSe dTTOKpivai' edv tls eXarrov dvaXcocras TrXeov 
KTrjorjraL, (f)r)s KcpSos eivat; 

ET. Ovrt KaKOV ye Xeyoj, aAA' eav xpvaiov rj 
apyvptov eXarTov dvaXcoaas TrXeov Xd^j). 

tCi. Kat eyco fieXXcu rovro ip^aeadai. <j>epe 

D ydp, edv ns XP^^^'^^ aradfxov 'qfXLcruv dvaXcoaas 

hnrXdcriov Xd^rj dpyvpiov, Kephos t] t,'r]p,iav eiX-rjcfyev ; 

ET. ILrnxiav h-qirov, co HcoKpares' dvrl ScoSeKa- 
araaiov ydp Stardatov avrco KadicrraTai ro ;!^pucrioV. 

2n. Kai pL7]v TrXeov y e'iXrjcfiev t^ ov TrXeov eari to 
hiTrXdaiov tov rip.iaeos ; 

ET. OvTL rfi d^ia ye dpyvpiov ;^/3Ucrtou. 

2n. Aet dpa, ws eoiKe, toj /cepSet rovro Trpoaelvai, 
rrjv d^iav. vvv yovv ro p.ev dpyvpiov TrXeov ov rov 
vpyaiov ov <f)fjs d^iov etvai, ro 8e ;\;puatoi' eXarrov 
ov agiov (pfjs eivai. 
E ET. H(f)6Spa' exei ydp ovrcos. 

2n. To fJ,€V d^iov dpa KephaXeov eariv, eav re 
apiLKpov fj edv re p^eya, ro 8e dvd^cov d/cepSej. 

ET. Nat. 


soc. Do you mean, not if it is evil ? Or will one 
acquire no gain even if one acquires something 

FR. Apparently one will, if it is good. 

soc. And if it is evil, will not one acquire loss ? 

FR. I think so. 

soc. You see, then, how you are running round 
again to the same old point ? Gain is found to be 
good, and loss evil. 

FR. For my part, I cannot tell what to say. 

soc. And not without good reason, sir. Now answer 
this further question : you say that if one acquires 
more than the amount one has spent, it is gain } 

FR. I do not mean, when it is evil, but if one gets 
more gold or silver than one has spent. 

soc. Now, I am just going to ask you about that. 
Tell me, if one spends half a pound of gold and gets 
double that weight in silver, has one got gain or loss ? 

FR. Loss, I presume, Socrates : for one's gold is 
reduced to twice, instead of twelve times, the value 
of silver. 

soc. But you see, one has got more ; or is double 
not more than half ? 

FR. Not in worth, the one being silver and the 
other gold. 

soc. So gain, it seems, must have this addition of 
worth. At least, you now say that silver, though 
more than gold, is not worth as much, and that gold, 
though less, is of equal worth. 

FR. Assuredly, for that is the case. 

soc. Then the valuable is what produces gain, 
whether it be small or great, and the valueless 
produces no gain. 

FR. Yes, 



Sn. To 8e d^iov Xeyeis d^Lov elvai a'AAo rt r) 

ET. Nat, K€Krrja6ai. 

20. To 8e d^Lov av Aeyei? KeKTrjadat to dviocfieXes 
7) TO (hcfyeXL/Jiov ; 

ET. To 0)cf)€XLlJ,OV S-qTTOV. 

2n. Oi5kow to (LffyeXifJiov dyaOov icrriv ; 

ET. Nat. 
232 2n. Oi5/cow, c5 avSpeidrare TravroJi', ov to 
KepSaXdov dyaOov av TrdXiv TptTov ^ TCTapTov rJKei 
7]jjuv ofioXoyovjjievov ; 

ET. "Eoi/cev. 

2n. ^vrjfioveveis ovv, odev -qfilv ovtos 6 Xoyos 
yeyovev ; 

ET. Ot/xat ye. 

2n. Et 8e fJirj, eyd) ere VTrofjUvqaio. r)fji(f)i,a^^TrjGds 
jiiOL Tovs dyadovs fir] rrdvTa to, KepSr) ^ovXeaOat 
KepSaLveiv, dAAo. tcov KepSujv Tayadd, to. Be TTOvr]pd 

ET. Nai;!^t. 
B 2n. OvKovv vvv TTdvTa Ta Kephrj 6 Xoyos r]pbds 
-qvayKaKe /cat apuKpa /cat {xeydXa ofioXoyeZv dyadd 
elvai, ; 

ET. ^WvdyKaKe ydp, to YicoKpares, fidXXov ep,e 
ye r) TrerreLKev . 

2n. 'AAA' tCTCeJ? /Ltera rovro /cat rreiaeiev dv 
vvv 8' ouv, e'tVe TreTreioat etVe (37760087) e;^ets", avp,^r]s 
yovv rjjjuv rravTa Ta Kephr] ayadd etvai, /cat ap.iKpd 
/cat fieydXa. 

ET. '0/AoAoya> yap ow. 

2n. Tous" 8e ■)(pr]aTOV£ dvdpd>TTOvs ^ovXeadai Ta- 
yadd o/xoAoyets drravTa drravTas' t^ ov; 


soc. And by the valuable you mean simply, 
valuable to possess ? 

FR. Yes, to possess. 

soc. And again, by what is valuable to possess, 
do you mean the unprofitable of the profitable .'' 

FR. The profitable, I presume. 

soc. And the profitable is good ? 

FR. Yes. 

soc. And so, most valiant of men, have we not 
here once more, for the third or fourth time, the 
admission that what produces gain is good ? 

FR. So it seems. 

soc. Then do you remember the point from which 
this discussion of ours arose ? 

FR. I think I do. 

soc. In case you do not, I will remind you. You 
maintained against me that good men do not wish 
to make all sorts of gain, but only those gains that 
are good, and not those that are wicked. 

FR. Yes. 

soc. And now the argument has compelled us to 
acknowledge that all gains, both small and great, 
are good ? 

FR. Yes, it has compelled me, at least, Socrates, 
rather than persuaded me. 

soc. Well, later on, perhaps, it might also persuade 
you. Now, however, whether you are persuaded 
or whatever is your feeling, you at least agree with 
me that all gains are good, both small and great ones. 

FR. Yes, I do admit it. 

soc. And you admit that virtuous men all wsh 
for all good things, do you not .'' 



ET. 'O/AoAoycD. 
C sn. 'AAAa /xey 817 rovs ye irovrjpovs avros^ 
eiTTeg ori Kal afMiKpa koI fxeydXa Kep^rj (f)i,Xovaiv. 


sn. OvKovv Kara^Tov aov Xoyov Trdvres avQpoiiroL 

^lAoKepSets- av elev, Kal ol xpv^^ol Koi ol Trovrjpoi. 

ET. OatVerat. ^ 

sn. Ouk: apa o/a^co? dveiSt^et, et rt? roj^ovetSt^ei 

^tAoKepSei etvar ruyxav'et yap Kal o ravra 6v€L- 

hlt,o)V avros roiovros o)V. 

J a.vTb% Bekker : aiirovs Mss. 



FR, I do. 

soc. But, you know, you stated yourself that 
Avicked men love both small and great gains. 

FR. I did. 

soc. And so, by your account, all men will be 
lovers of gain, whether they be virtuous or wicked. 

FR. Apparently. 

soc. Hence it is not right to reproach anybody 
with being a lover of gain : for he who makes this 
reproach is actually such an one himself. 

VOL. vin X 305 



The conversation here related by Socrates takes 
place in a school, where a number of boys and young 
men of good birth and looks have come to take the 
regular courses of reading, writing, recitation, and 
arithmetic, and to acquire the elements of geometry 
and astronomy. The scene in the school is swiftly 
and vividly described. Socrates soon finds himself 
talking with two young men of opposite character 
and training : like Amphion and Zethus in Euripides' 
Antiope (referred to in the Gorgias, 485-6), they have 
given their time, one to the humane studies of music, 
literature and rational debate (all of which were 
embraced by the Greeks under the general term 
" music ") ; and the other, who has turned liis back 
on these refinements, to athletic exercise and 
prowess. Their antagonism is further sharpened by 
the fact that they are both ardent admirers of one of 
a pair of boys or striplings, who have been earnestly 
disputing over some astronomical theory, but who 
now turn their attention to the debate between 
Socrates and the two lovers. 

Socrates raises the question of philosophy, which 
has been suggested by the sight of the two young 
astronomers. The athletic lover, of course, feels 
nothing but contempt for it ; but his literary rival 
cannot commend it too highly, and describes it as 


the lifelong acquisition of fresh knowledge (133 c). 
But if" much learning " is the meaning of philosophy, 
we must consider how )tmck learning is good for us : 
we find, for instance, that a moderate or measured 
amount of exercise and food is best in athletics ; and 
it would seem that a certain moderation in learning 
will be best for the soul (134 d, e). The trainer and 
the doctor will give us the right measure of exercise 
and food for a good condition of body, but who will 
fix it for the acquirements of the soul ? This 
important question is left unanswered. But if we 
cannot tell exactly how much, let us see if we can say 
what the philosopher ought to learn. The youth 
suggests that he should learn just so much of each 
art or craft as will enable him, through his intelhgent 
grasp of what is done in each, to impress people with 
his knowledge and cleverness (135 d). Socrates 
objects that, on this view, the philosopher will be 
like an all-round athlete who may be able to beat 
ordinary athletes, but must be only second-best 
when matched with anyone who specializes in one 
sort of contest. As the youth adheres to his state- 
ment, Socrates points out that a second-rate person 
must be useless and mischievous in any emergency, 
so long as a specialist is available (136 c). In fact, 
the philosopher must be something quite different 
from that (137 b). 

At this point Socrates, rather abruptly, turns the 
talk on to the subject of right and >^Tong, with 
especial reference to the judge or governor who 
has to decide between them (137 d). The skill 
required for such decisions is the highest that we 
know of: it is the true state-craft, which should 
combine knowledge of human nature and of oneself, 



" temperance " or reasoned self-control, and justice 
Is the philosopher to be only second-rate, and so 
practically useless, in the all-important business of 
applying these arts or powers ? Or is he, above 
all others, to undertake such work himself, as 
being his pecuhar business ? The youth agrees that 
he must ; and Socrates ends by saying that philo- 
sophy is something quite different from erudition 
and theoretical knowledge of the arts. 

The little drama of the dialogue is well conceived 
and conducted. From the pleasant scene of life in 
the fashionable school we pass to the contrast between 
the arrogant young votary of letters and the simple- 
minded sportsman, who has the amusement of seeing 
his disdainful rival humbled by the elucidating 
questions of Socrates. The easy grace of the narra- 
tive reminds one of the Charmides and the Lysis ; 
and the search for the true content and meaning of 
philosophy might well be a resumption of the remark 
on the various learning of the sophist Hippias in the 
Protagoras (318 e). Conformably with Plato's early 
manner, the important question of the due measure 
in learning, as in all else, is just stated clearly, and 
then left for future investigation. The interesting 
conception of the philosopher as something like our 
newspaper critic, and indeed as little more than a 
smatterer in the arts, arose naturally from the dis- 
taste felt by the best Greek society for manual 
labour, and from the high value set on frequent and 
acute discussion of everything under the sun. The 
Athenians especially, as Thucydides tells us through 
the mouth of Pericles, believed in the utility of 
rational debate for the life of an enterprising people ; 
and Socrates is hardly fair to the sophists, or to him- 



self, when he classes the man who cultivates this 
ability as useless. But his hasty condemnation of 
the ordinary critical observer is explained when we 
reach the concluding section. " Yes," we seem to 
be told, " philosophy is a kind of criticism or dis- 
crimination, but not the petty, meddling kind that 
you suppose. The philosopher must be supreme in 
a special sphere of his own, where he will be the one 
authority on good and evil, right and WTong." 

The sudden, impatient manner in which this 
glimpse of the philosopher is given, and the guise in 
which he is shown, are not unplatonic : yet, apart 
from certain details of language, this last section has 
a clumsy abruptness wliich suggests that the whole 
piece may be the work of a skilful imitator, who is 
successful enough with the dramatic narrative, but 
cannot rise to the higher levels of Plato's thought and 
art ; and it is to be noted that here the important 
work of distinguishing the true from the false is not 
included in the philosopher's business. We should 
have expected Plato to have either concealed the 
gaps and loose ends with some more playfulness, or 
to have more ably connected and sustained his treat, 
ment of so high and intimate a theme. 



[h nEPI <I>IA020*IA2 ■ H0IKO2] 

St I Et? Alovvctlov rov ypa^ixarioTOV elarjXdov, /cat 
etoov avTODL tcjov re veojv tovs eTneiKecrTarovs 
SoKovvras elvai rrjv ISeav /cat Trarepojv cvSoklijuov, 
/cat Tovrcov ipaarag. irvyxo-virrjv ovv hvo rwv 
fiCLpaKLCOV ipL^ovre, Trepl orov 8e, ov cT(f)6Spa 
Kar-qKOVOv €(f>aLvladrjV jxcvtol ^ Trepl ^Ava^ayopov 
rj TTepl OlvottlSov epit,eLV kvkXovs yovv ypd<f)€iv 

B i(f>aiv€a6'qv /cat ey/cAtcrei? nvas €p,LfMovvTO toZv 
Xepolv eTTLKXivovre /cat fj,dX* iaTTOvSaKOTe . Kayw 
— Kad-qjJbTjv yap Trapd rov ipaarrjv rov erepov 
avTolv — Kivqaa? ovv avrov rep ay/ccovt rjp6p,r]v, o 
ri TTod^ ovrcus eanovhaKore ro) /xetpa/ct'oj elriqv, 
/cat eiTTOV 'H TTov fjbeya rt /cat KaXov ecrrt, Trepl 
o roaavrrjv aTTOvSrjv TreTTOi-qfjieva) earov ; 

*0 S' €tW, Wotov, e^rj, p,eya /cat KaXov; aSo- 
XeaxovcTL p,ev ovv ovroi ye Trepl rwv p.ered)pojv /cat 
<j)Xvapovai (f)LXoao(f)ovvres- 

C Kat iyo) davfxdaas avrov rrjv aTTOKpiaiv eiTTOv 

^ The Ionian philosopher who lived in friendship with 
Pericles at Athens. 


[or on philosophy : ethical] 

I ENTERED the grammar school of the teacher 
Dionysius, and saw there the young men who are 
accounted the most comely in form and of distin- 
guished family, and their lovers. Now it chanced 
that two of the young people were disputing, but 
about what, I did not clearly overhear : it appeared, 
however, that they were disputing either about 
Anaxagoras ^ or about Oenopides ^ ; at any rate, 
they appeared to be drawing circles, and they were 
imitating certain inclinations ^ with their arms, bend- 
ing to it and taking it most earnestly. Then I — ■ 
for I was sitting beside the lover of one of the pair — 
nudged him with my elbow and asked him what on 
earth the two youngsters were so earnest about, and 
I said : Is it then something great and fine, in which 
they are so earnestly immersed .'' 

Great and fine, indeed ! he rephed : why, these 
fellows are prating about the heavenly bodies, and 
babbling philosophy. 

Then I, surprised at liis answer, said : Young man, 

* A philosopher of Chios, distinguished as a geometer and 

' i.e. the slopes of the contours of the earth, and of the 
apparent course of the sun (ecliptic). 



n v€avia, alaxpov So/cet aoi elvai to ^i\o(jo<j>elv; 
7) TL ovrcos xctAcTTois' Xeyeis; 

Kat o erepog — ttXtjctlov yap Kad-qixevog irvyxo-vev 
avrov, avrepacrrrjs cov — d/coucra? e/xou re epofxevov 
KaKCLVOv aTTOKpivofievov, Ov npos crov ye, €(f)rj, c5 
TicoKpares, TTOiets to Acai avepeaOai tovtov, el al- 
axpov ■qycLTai <j)i\oao<j)iav elvai . 7) ovk olada tovtov, 
OTi Tpax'f]Xil,6iX€vo£ /cat ep.TrnrXdp.evo'S Kal Kad- 
evhcDV TTavTa top ^lov hiaTeTcXeKev ; ojore ai) tL 
avTov (pov aTTOKpiveladai aAA' rj otl alaxpov cctti 
D ' Wv 8e ovTO'5 jJiev tolv epaoTaZv Trepi fiovoLKrjV 
Si,aT€TpL(f)(x)s, 6 8* €T€pog, OV iXoiSopcL, 7T€pl yvp.- 
vaaTiKTjV. Kal p,oi eSo^e XPW'^'' "^^^ H-^^ eTcpov 
d(f)L€vaL, Tov ipa)Ta)[M€vov ,^ otl ovS' avTos TTpocr- 
CTTOietTO TTcpl Xoyojv ep.TTeipos elvai dXXd irepl epycov, 
TOV 8e ao(f)a)T€pov TTpoa7TOLOvp,€vov €LvaL BiepcoTrjaai, 
iva Kal €L TL bvvalixiqv Trap* avrov oi<j>eX-qd€L'r]v . 
eliTOv ovv OTL EiV KOLVov pL€V TO cpuiT'qp.a -qpopL-qv 
el Se ai) otet rouSe kolXAlov dv aTTOKpivaadaL, ae 
epioTO) TO avTo oirep /cat tovtov, el 80/cet aot to 
(f)iXoao<f>e'LV KaXov elvaL iq ov. 
133 YdX^Bov ovv TavTa XeyovTOiv rjjjLwv eiraKovaavTe 
TO) jLtetpa/ctcD eaLyrjaaT-qv , Kal avTco 7Tavaap,evoj 
TTJs epcSos rjp,a>v d/cpoarai ey€V€a6r]v. KaL o tl p,ev 
OL ipaaTal e-nadov, ovk ot8a, auro? 8' ovv e|- 
eTrXdyqv del ydp ttotc vtto twv vecov re /cat KaXcJv 
€K7TX'qTTop,aL. cBoKeL pLevTOL poL Kal 6 erepog ovx 

1 epojTibfxevov Schleiermacher : ipdifxevov mss. 


do you <^j3^pgif>pr p|ii1"g"p^'''^'"g — to — be — shamefiil ? 
Else, why do you speak so sharply ? 

Then the other youth — for he chanced to be sitting 
near liim, as his rival in love — when he heard my 
question and his rival's answer, said : You do your- 
self no good, Socrates, by pressing this fellow with a 
further question, as to whether he considers philoso- 
phizing to be shameful. Do you not know that he 
has spent the whole of his hfe in practising the neck- 
hold, and stuffing himself, and sleeping ? So why 
did you suppose he Mould make any other reply than 
that philosophy is shameful ? 

Now this one of the two lovers had spent his time 
on hin nane^^tudifis,^ whereas the other, whom he was 
abusing, had spent his on athletic s. So I decided 
that I had best relinquish the other, whom I had 
been questioning, since he did not even himself set 
up to be experienced in words, but only in deeds ; 
and that I should interrogate the one who set up to 
be wiser, in order that so far as I was able I might 
get some benefit from him. I said therefore : I 
addressed my question to both in common ; but if 
you think you could answer more creditably than he, 
I put the same question to you as I did to him : do 
you consider philosophizing to be honourable or not ? 

Then the two striplings, overhearing us speak 
somewhat like this, were silent, and ceasing from 
their own contention they became listeners to ours. 
What their lovers' sensations were, I do not know, 
but I myself, at any rate, was staggered ; for every 
time I am staggered by handsome young people. 
It seemed to me, however, that my young friend too 

' Literally, " on music," which with the Greeks included 

poetrj' and general literature as well as music. 



rjnov ifiov dycDVLoiv ov firjv aAA' aTreKpivaro ye 
/xoi KOL fjbdXa <j)L\orlinos . 'OTTore yap roi, €(f)y], 
CD ZiOJKpares, ro cpiXoaocfyelv ataxpov rjyr^aaip.'qv 
€lvai, ovh av avdpcoTTOV vo/xtcrat/xt efxavrov elvai,, 
B ovS dXXov rov ovrco StaKelfMevov , evhcLKVvixeuos 
€L9 rov avrepaarrjv, /cat Xeycov fMeydXrj rfj (f)a)vfj, 
IV avrov KaraKovou rd TratStKra. 

Kat iyo) etTTOV, KaAov dpa So/cet aoi to <f)iXo- 

Yidvv fjLev ovv, €(f>r]. 

Tt ovv, iy<h k<f)iqv rj Soxret aoL olov re elvat elSevac 
TTpdyfia OTLOvv elre KaXdv etre ala^pdv iariv, o 
fjLrj elheirj tls ttjv dpx^jv o tl ecrriv ; 

C Olard* dpa, ■^v 8' iyw, 6 rt ecrrt rd (j)iXoao(j>eiv ; 
Ilavu ye, e<f>r]. 
Ti ovv ear IV ; k^iqv eyoi. 
Tt 8' aAAo ye, t} Kard rd SoAcuvos"; SdAcov yap 


yqpaaKOJ 8 atet TroAAa 8t8ao'/cd/ievo? * 

KOL ifiol hoK€L ovrcDS del xP'^vai, ev ye n fxavdaveiv 
rov f^eXXovra (f)i,XoGO(f)'qa€tv, /cat veiorepov ovra /cat 
TTpea^vrepov, iv' cos irXelara ev rat ^io) fxadrj. Kat 
fjLOL rd piev Trpcjrov eSo^e rl eLTrelv, erreLrd ttcos 
evvoiqcras rjp6p,7]v avrov, el rr]v (j)iXoao(j)iav ttoXv- 
fiadiav rjyoXro elvat. 
D Kd/cetvo?, Haw, e^rj. 

*Hy7y Se hrj KaXdv elvai piovov rrjv <f>iXoao<f)iav rj 
/cat dyadov ; rjv 8' eyo). 

Kat dya^dv', ecfi-q, irdw. 


was in as great a flutter as myself ; but nevertheless 
he answered me in a most ambitious spirit : Why, of 
course, Socrates, he said, if I should ever consider 
philosophizing to be shameful, I should not account 
myself so much as a man, nor anyone else either who 
was disposed to tliink so. Here he pointed to his 
rival lover, and spoke >nth a loud voice, in order that 
his favourite might hear every word. 

Then I remarked : So philosophizing seems to you 
to be honourable ? 

Quite so, he said. 

Well now, I said ; does it seem to you4K)ssible to i 
know whether anything is honourable or shameful ' 
without knowing what it is fundamentally } 

No, he said. 

Then do you know, I went on, what philosophizing 

Certainly I do, said he. 

Then what is it ? I asked. 

Why, just what Solon called it ; you know it was 
Solon who said : 

And ever, as I older grow, I learn yet more and more ; — 
and I agree with him that a man who intends to 
philosophize should in this way be ever learning 
something or other, whether he be younger or older, 
in order that he may learn as many things as possible 
in his bfe. Now at first I felt there was something 
in his reply, but then, on second thoughts, I asked 
him whether he considered philosophy to be much 

To which he answered : Certainly. 

And do you consider philosophy to be merely 
honourable, I asked, or good as well ? 

Good as well, he said : very much so. 



TloTepov ovv e.i> (f)tXoao(f)ia ti rovro lBlov ivopas, 
7] Koi iv Tols aXXois ovro) aoi 8o/cet e;(etv; olov 
<f)LXoyviivaariav ov fiovov ■f]yfj Kokov elvai, oAAo, 
Koi dyadov ; rj ov; 

*0 8e KOI fjLaXa elpcovLKcos €(f>r] Syo* Upos [xev 
TovSe [MOL etp-qcrdo), on ovSdrepa' Trpos 8e ere, cu 
Sco/c/aares", o/ioAoyco koI KaXov elvai, Kal dyadov 
E rfyov/jiaL yap opdcos. 

'H/3coT7jcra ovv iyo), ^Ap' ovv Kal iv rolg 
aiois rr]v TroXvTToviav ^iXoyvixvacmav rjyfj elvai; 

K.dK€lvos e(f)rj, Ildvv ye, waTrep ye Kal iv rep 
(l)iXoao<f)€Lv rrjv 7ToXvp.adl.av (f}LXoao(f)i.av rjyovp,aL 

Kdyco €L7Tov, 'iiyfj Se St) rovs (f)cXoyvu,vaaTovvTas 
dXXov Tov im,6vp,€iv rj tovtov, o tl TTOL-qaei avrovs 
et5 €X€iv TO CTco/xa; 

Tovrov, €(f>r]. 

^H ovv ol TToXXol TTOVOL TO CTCOjUa, TjV 8 CytO, 
TTOLOVaiV €V €X€iV ; 

134 riois" yap dv, €(f)rj, drro ye oXiycxyv ttovcjv to 
acx)p.d Tis €v €xoi; 

Kat fJiOi eBo^ev rjSr] ivravda KivrjTcog elvai 6 
<f)t,XoyvpvacrTT]s , Iva poi ^orjdrjar] Sid ttjv ipTreipiav 
rrjs yvpivaoTtKijs' KaTreira r]p6p,r]v avTov, Su 8e 
817 tL aiyas rifilv, cb XcooTe, rovrov TavTa XeyovTO? ; 
rj Kal aol Sokovglv ol dvQpoiTTOL ev ra crcD/xara 

^X^lV (XTrO TCOV TToXXcOV 7TOVOJV, TJ aTTO Tcbv p,€TpLa)V ; 

'Eyco p,€V, d) ScuK-pare?, €<f)r], (x)p,rjV to Xeyopevov 

B 8t] tovto Kav vv^ yvdjvai, otl ol p,eTpt.oi ttovol ev 

TTotovaiv e^etv ra acopara, Trodev Srj ovxl dvSpa 

ye dypvTTVov Te Kal daiTov Kal drpi^rj rdv TpdxrjXcv 

^ K&v if Hermann : Kal vvv mss. 


Then do you observe this as pecuhar to philosophy, 
or do you find it similarly in everything else ? For 
example, do you consider the love of athletics to be 
not merely honourable, but good as well, or do you 

Whereupon he, most slily, gave a double answer : 
To him my statement must be " neither " ; but to 
you, Socrates, I acknowledge it to be both honour- 
able and good : for I consider this the right view. 

Then I asked him : Well now, in athletics, do you 
consider that much exercise is love of athletics ? 

To which he rephed : Certainly, just as in philo- 
sophizing I consider much learning to be philosophy. 

Then I said : And do you then consider that the \ ■<^« 
lovers of athletics desire anything else than that T^ ^t^ 
M-hich will cause them to be in good bodily condition .'' V^,^5«^ 

Only that, he repUed. \^^^ 

And does much exercise, I asked, cause them to _0i^^ 
be in good bodily condition ? ^^ 

Yes, for how, he replied, could one be in good ^ 

bodily condition through little exercise ? 

Here I felt it was time to stir up the lover of 
athletics, in order that he might give me the support 
of his athletic experience ; so I proceeded to ask 
him : And you then, pray, why are you silent, 
excellent sir, while your friend here is speaking 
thus ? Do you agree that men are in good bodily 
condition through much exercise, or is it rather 
through moderate exercise ? 

For my part, Socrates, he said, I thought even a pig 
— ^as the saying is — would have known that moderate 
exercise causes them to be in good bodily condition, 
so why should not a fellow who is sleepless and 



exovra /cat Xctttov vtto /Ltepi/xvcup' ; /cat avrov 
ravra elrrovTOS rjcrdrj ra jxeipaKia /cat eireyeXaaev , 6 
8 €T€pos rjpvdpiaae . 

Kat eyco eiTTOv, Tt ouv; au rjSr] avy)(a>p€LS /irjre 
TToAAot'S" /XT^re oAiyou? ttovovs ev TTOieiv exeti^ to, 
aojuara tovs avdpcoTTOVs, dAAa Toy? p,€rpiovs; 
7) Stafidxj) Svotv ovroLV vojv irepl rov Xoyov; 
C Ka/ceti^o?, npos /xei/ rovrov, '^(j^rj, kolv ttolvv 
rjSeio? SiayiovLO-atfM-qv , /cat eu otS' ort t/cavoy af 
yevoljjirjv ^o-qdijcrai rij vnodecreL, t]v vvedefi-qv, /cat 
€t Tavrr]s en ^avXorepav VTredepbrjv ovSev yap eari' 
TTpos fievrot ae ovSev Seo/xat Trapa So^av (f)tXo- 
viKelv, dAA' ojJboXoyw /xr) rd ttoAAo. dAAd ra p.erpia 
yvjxvaaia rrjv eve^lav e/X7roietv rot? dvdpujTTOig. 

Tt 8e rd CTtrta; rd /LtcVpta -^ rd TroAAd; e^i^v 

Kat ra atria iu/xoXoyeL. 
D Eti 8e Kayco 7TpoarjvdyKal,ov avrov ofMoXoyetu 
Kat rdAAa ndvra rd Trepi ro aaJfia wcfieXtixiLrara 
eti'at rd /Jterpta, dAAd /lit) rd TroAAd //.i^Se rd oAtya* 
/cat jLtot (hptoXoyet rd fierpta. 

Tt 8e, €(f>rjv, rd vrept tt^v iJjvxtjv ; rd fxerpta 
CD^eAet •^ rd dpterpa ruiv rrpoacftepoixeviov ; 

Td /Jterpta, €(f)r]. 

OvKovv ev rGiv 7Tpoa(f)€poiJt€vwv fpvxfj earl /cat 
ra fJtad-^jjtara. 
Q.fioX6yet . 

Kat rovrojv dpa rd [jterpta d)<f)eXet, dAA' ov rd 

lLvve(f>'q . 



unfed, with unchafed neck and slender, care-worn 
frame I And when he had said this the boys were 
dehghted and laughed their approval, while the 
other lover blushed. 

Then I said to him : Well, do you now concede 
that it is neither much, nor little, but moderate 
exercise that causes men to be in good bodily con- 
dition ? Or do you bid defiance to the two of us 
on this point ? 

To wliich he answered : Against him I should be 
only too glad to fight it out, and I am certain I 
should prove able to support the theory I have put 
forward, even had I put forward a weaker one ; 
for he is naught. But with you I do not aim at 
winning an unscrupulous success ; and so I admit 
that not a great but a moderate amount of athletics 
causes good condition in men. 

And what of food ? Moderate or much ? I asked. 

The same apphed to food, he admitted. 

Then I went on and tried to compel him also to 
admit that everything else connected with the body 
when most beneficial, was the moderate thing, not 
the much or the httle ; and he admitted that it was 
the moderate thing. 

And now, I said, as regards the soul ; are moderate 
or immoderate things beneficial, as adjuncts of it ? 

Moderate things, he replied. 

And are studies among the adjuncts of the soul } 

He admitted they were. 

So among these also it is the moderate that are 
beneficial, and not the much ? 

He agreed. 

VOL. VIII Y 321 


TtVa ovv ipofxevot, av SiKaicos ipoifxcda, ottoIol 
fJierpioL TTOVOL /cat criria rrpos to crcD/xa ecmv; 

'QpLoXoyovpiev /xer rpels ovres, on larpov r) 
E TiVa 8' ap TTepl aTrepfxdrcov airopas, ottooov 

Kat rovTov rov yecopyov cu/xoAoyou/xer. 

Tiva he rrepl jxadiqiidroov els ifjux^jv ^vrevaecjs 
re /cat aTTopds epcorcovTes 8t/cat<os" av epoijxeQa, 
OTToaa Kat, oiroZa jxerpia; 

T^ovvrevdev rjSrj diropias /xearot r]p,€V aTravres' 
135 /cayto TTpoaTrail^cjv avrovs r]p6p,iqv, BouAea^e, ^cjy-qv, 
e7ret8i7 rffxels iv diropia €ap,€.v, ipcofieda ravrl rd 
fMeupaKLa; rj lctojs alaxwo/jbeda, coaTrep e<j>rj rovs 
fivrjGTTJpas "Ofj,7]pos, P'Tj d^iovvres^ eXvai riva d'AAov, 
OCTTt? evrevel rd to^ov ; 

'E7ret8i^ ovv pLOL iSoKovv ddvpbelv Trpds rov Xoyov, 
dXXrj i7T€Lpcx)pirjv aKoireZv, /cat etnov, Uola 8e 
fxaXicrr^ drra T07Tdi,opi€V elvai rdJv pi,a9rjp,dra)v, 
d Set rov ^i\oao(f)ovvra piavOdveiv, eTretSi) ou^j^t 
rrdvra ou8e TroAAa; 
B 'YrroXa^aJV ovv 6 ao(f)a)r€pos elirev on KaAAtora 
ravr etr] rdJv p,a6'r]p,dra)v /cat TrpocriJKovra, acf) 
<MV dv TrXeiarrjv So^av exoi Tt? els <f>iXoao(f)iav' 
TrXecarrjv 8' av ^'p(ot 8o^av, et BoKotr) rd)V rexvdJv 
epLTreipos elvai iraadiv, el 8e /xtj, (hs TrXelarcov ye /cat 
fMaXtara rd>v d^coXoycov, p,a6d)v avrcov ravra, a 
TTpoa-^KeL roLS eXevdepots p.adelv, daa avveaews 
exerai, pcrj daa x^^povpyias. 

^ d^iovvres Cobet : ol^iovvtuv, d^toOvras MSS. 

^ Od. xxi. 285 foil., where the suitors pf Penelope are 


Then whom should we be justified in asking what 
sort of exercise or food is moderate for the body ? 

The three of us agreed that it must be a doctor 
or a trainer. 

And whom should we ask about the moderate 
measure in the sowing of seed ? 

In that matter, we agreed, it must be a farmer. 

And whom should we be justified in asking as to 
the moderate degree and kind, in regard to the 
sowing and planting of studies in the soul .'' 

At this point we all began to be full of perplexity ; 
then I, mocking at them, asked : Do you mind, 
since we are in perplexity, if we ask these boys here } 
Or perhaps we are ashamed, as Homer ^ said the 
suitors were, and do not think it fit there should 
be someone else who will string the bow ? 

Then, as it seemed to me that they were losing 
their zeal for the argument, I tried to pursue the 
inquiry in another way, and said : But what, as 
nearly as we can guess, are the kinds of learning 
which the philosopher should learn, since he is not 
to learn all things or many things ? 

At this the wiser one interjected : The finest and 
most suitable kinds of learning are those which will 
bring him the most reputation for philosophy ; and 
he will get most reputation if he appears well versed 
in all the arts, or if not in all, in as many of them, 
and those the most considerable, as he can, by 
learning so much of them as befits a free man to 
learn, that is, what belongs to the understanding 
rather than the handiwork of each. 

ashamed, after they have failed to string the great bow of 
Odysseus, to let its owner, disguised as a beggar, try his 
strength on it, and perhaps succeed. 



'^Ap' ovv ovTOj XeycLs, e(f)rjv iyco, coaTtep iv rfj 
rcKTOVLKrj; /cat yap e/cet reKrova /xev av Trpiaio 

C TTevre -q e^ fivclw, aKpov dp)(Lr€Krova 8e ouS' av 

fivpLcov Spa)(iJia)V oXiyot, ye fMrjv kov iv Trdai rols 

EAAT^at yiyvoiVTO. dpa p^r^ri roiovrov Aeyei?; 

/cat OS aKovaas p-ov avve-)(^cx}peL /cat airros Xeyetv 


H/sd/xTjv S' avrov, et ovk dSvvarov etr] Svo p,6vas 
rep^vas" ovroi pbaOeXv rov avrov, p,rj on rroXXas /cat 
/xeyaAas" o 8e, Mt^ ovtcjs p.ov, €(f)rj, v7roXd^r)g, d> 
HcoKpar€S, d)s XeyovTog, on Set eKdcrr-qv rcbv re^viov 

D rov (j>iXoao(j)ovvra eTriaraadai a/cpt^Sais", oyairep 
avrdv rov rrjv re^vrjv e^ovra, dXX ws et/co? dvSpa 
eXevdepov re /cat 7T€7Tai,hevp,evov , erraKoXovdrjaai re 
rols XeyopLevoLS vtto rov hrjpiovpyov olov r' etvat 
hLa(j>ep6vrcx)s rcov Trapovrcov, /cat avrov avp,^dX- 
XeadaL yvco/ji-qv, ware BoKeZv ■)(apLeararov elvai /cat 
ao<f)(x)rarov rcbv del Trapovrcov iv rols XeyopLevois 
re /cat irparrop^evois Trepl rds reyyo-s. 

KayoS, en yap avrov r]p,(f)eyv6ovv rov Xoyov 6 n 
e^ovXero, 'Ap' evvoo), e<f)r]v, olov Aeyet? rov (f)iX6- 

E ao(f)ov dvhpa; 8o/c€ts" yap /xot Ae'yetv olov iv rfj 
ayojvia elalv ol TrevradXoi Trpos rovs Spo/xea? ^ 
rovs TToXaiards. /cat yap iKelvoi rovrcov p,ev 
XeLTTovrai Kara rd rovra>v ddXa Kat Sevrepoi elai 
TTpos rovrovs, rcov Se dXXcov dOXrjrcbv TrpwroL 
Kat VLKcbatv avrovs. Ta;^' dv laois roiovrov n 
Xeyois /cat ro (f)i.Xoao^eLV drrepydt^eadai rovs 

^ A mina ( = 100 drachmae) would be about £6-£8 in our 
money to-day. 

* Literally, athletes trained for the contest of the five 
exercises of leaping, running, disc-flinging, javelin-throwing, 
and wrestling. 



Well now, do you mean, I asked, in the same way 
as in carpentry ? For there, you know, you can 
buy a carpenter for five or six minae,^ but a first- 
rate architect cannot be got for even ten thousand 
drachmae ; few such, indeed, could be found tlirough- 
out the whole of Greece. Is it something of this 
sort that you mean ? When he heard me say this, 
he admitted that something hke this was what he 
himself meant. 

I next asked him if it was not impossible for the 
same person to learn in this way merely two of the 
arts, not to speak of many or the principal ones ; to 
which he replied : Do not conceive me, Socrates, 
to be stating that the philosopher must have accurate 
knowledge of each of the arts, like the actual adept in 
any of them ; I mean only so far as naay be expected 
of a free and educated man : that is, he should 
be able to follow the explanations of the craftsman 
more readily than the rest of the company, and to 
contribute an opinion of his own wliich will make 
him appear the cleverest and most accomplished of 
the company who may at any time be present at 
some verbal or practical exposition of the arts. 

Then, as I was still unsettled in my mind as to 
the drift of his words, I asked him : Do I quite 
grasp the sort of man whom you mean by the 
philosopher ? For you seem to me to mean someone 
like the all-round athletes ^ in contest with the 
runners or the wTCStlers : the former yield, you 
know, to the latter in their particular exercises, and 
are their inferiors in these, but are superior to the 
usual sort of athletes and beat them. I daresay it 
may be something of this sort that you would suggest 
as the effect produced by philosophy on those who 



imr'qSevovras rovro to eTriTTjSef/xa" rcov ^ev 
136 TTpcoTOiv els avveaiv irepl ras re^vas iXXetTTeadai, 
TO, Sevrepela 8' exovras rojv aXKoiv TrepielvaL, Kai 
ovrcos yiyveadai irepl rravra viraKpou riva avopa 
Tov 7T€(f)iXoao(f)rjK6ra' tolovtov rivd [jlol BoKeXs 

KaAojs ye /xot, ^(f>y], f5 Sca/cpare?, (f)aivr) VTroXajj,- 
^dveiv TO, 776/31 rov (f)LXoG6(f>ov , oLTTeLKdcras avrov 
to) TTevrddXcp. earL yap drep^ois' toiouto? olos 
/jbTj hovXevetv /XTjSevt TrpdypbarL, P''r}^^ €t? rT]V 
aKpt^eiov jxrjSev StaTreTTOVTj/ceVai, caare 8td ti^v 
Tou ei'os' Towrou eTTifMeXeiav riov aAAtov airavroiv 
B aTToXeXelcfidaL, warrep ol d-qfMLovpyoi, dXXd irdurtov 
fierpicos €(f)rj(f)6ai. 

Merd ravT'qv hr] rrjv dTTOKptaiv eycb Trpoovpiov- 
fxevos aa(f)a>s etSeVat o rt Xeyoi, i7TVvdavop,rjv avrov, 
rovs dyadovs TTorepov ;^/37y(n'/Aoys' rj axpyjcrrovs 
elvai VTToXajJi^dvoi. 

yiprjaifMovs S-qTTOv, c5 ^coKpareg, e</>7J. 

^Ap' ovv, CLTTep ol dyaQol ;)^p7^at/xot, ol 7Tovr]poL 
dxpi]oroi ; 

' Q.p,oX6yei, . 

Tt hi; rovs (f>iXoa6cf)ovs dvhpas XPl'^^H'^^^ Vyf) 
r) ov; ^ ^ 

C '0 Se oiyuoAdyet p^prjcrt/xoys', /cat Trpos ye £^17 
XpyjcnpiOirdrovs elvai riyeZadai. 

Oe'pe 817 yvoJfMev, el av dX-qdrj XeyeLS, rrov /cat 
XprjcnpjOi Tjjjuv elalv ol VTtaKpoi ovroi; SrjXov yap 
on eKdarov ye raJv rds rexyas exovrcov (f)avX6repos 
eceriv 6 (jtiXoao^og. 


Oe'pe 8t) (jv, rjv 8' ey<x>, el rvxots •^ aurd? dadevrj- 


make it their pursuit : they yield to those who are 
first-rate in an understanding of the arts, but in 
taking the second place they surpass the rest ; and 
in this way the man who has studied philosophy 
comes just next to the top in everything. That is 
the kind of person whom you appear to me to 

You are quite right, it seems to me, Socrates, he 
said, in your conception of the philosopher's position, 
with your comparison of him to the all-round athlete. 
For it is precisely his nature not to be enslaved to 
any business, or to work out anything exactly, so as 
to let his apphcation to that one matter make him 
deficient in the rest, as the craftsmen do, but to have 
a moderate contact -with all of them. 

Well, after this answer I was eager to know clearly 
what he meant, so I inquired of him whether he 
conceived of good men as useful or useless. 

Useful, I should say, Socrates, he rephed. 

Then if good men are useful, are wicked men 
useless ? 

He agreed that they were. 

Again, do you consider that philosophers are useful 
persons or not ? 

He agreed that they were useful ; nay, more, that 
he considered they were most useful of all. 

Come now, let us make out, if what you say is true, 
where these second-best men are also useful to us : 
for clearly the philosopher is inferior to any particular 
adept in the arts. 

He agreed. 

Well now, I went on, if you yoiu*self, or one of your 



aas Tj rcbv <j)iXoiv tls tojv aG)v, Trept Siv ah (nrovS-qv 
fieydXrjv ex^tS", TTorepov vyeiav ^ovXofJbevos kttJ- 
aaaOai tov VTraKpov CKelvov [rov <^tAdao^ov]^ 
ctaayois av els rrjv ot/ctav •^ tov larpov Aa^ot?; 
D Afxcfiorepovs eycoy^ av, ^cfyy]- 

Miy /xoi, eiTTOv iy(x), dp,(f)or€povg Aeye, dAA' otto- 
repov jxaXXov re koL rrporepov. 

OvSels dv, e<^7y, tovto ye diJ,<f)t,(TPrjrrjaeLev , (hs 
ovxl TOV laTpov /cat jLtoAAov Kal irporepov. 

Ill 8 ; iv vrjl )(eLiJial^op,evrj TTOTepco dv p,dXXov 
eTTLTpeTTois aavTov re /cat to, aeavrov, tco kv- 
^epvrjTrj rj Tcp (jjcXoaocfxx) ; 

To) Kv^epvqrrj eycoye. 

OvKOVv Kal rdAAa Trdvd" ovto)?, eo)s dv Ti? 
h'qpLiovpyos 27, ov ;;^p7yat/Aos' eariv 6 (j)iX6ao^o£ ; 

Oatverat, e^"?]. 
E OvKovv vvv dxpy]crT6s tls iarlv 6 (^LX6cro(^0'S ; 
elal yap rjp,tv del^ ttov Sr]p,iovpyol' d>pLoXoyriaap.ev 
8e rovs p.ev dyadovs ^^/DTjat/xou? etv'at, tovs 8e 
jjioxdrjpovs d-^p-qarovs. 

'Hi^ay/cd^ero 6p.oXoyelv. 

Tt ovv jjieTa tovto; epcop,ai ae t) dypoiKorepov 
eoTLV epeadai; 

^Kpov 6 Ti ^ovXei. 

Ovhev hrj, e<f)rjv iyo), ^'qTco dXXo -q avopi,oXoyq- 
137 oaadai rd elprjfieva. ep^et Se ttcjos oiSL ajjjioXo- 
yqaap,ev koXov elvai TrjV (f)iXoao(f)Lav [/cat aurot 
(j>tX6ao(j)OL eip-at]/ tovs he <f)iXoo-6(f>ovg dyadovs, 
Tovs Se ayadovs )(^p'Y]aLp.ovs , tovs Be TTOvqpovs 
dxpT]OTOVs' avdis §' av tovs (f>tXoa6(/)ovs (LpboXoy-q- 
crafMev, ecos dv ol Sr}p,i.ovpyoL cLaiv, dxp'qcrTOVs 

1 TOV <f)CKbao<t)ov seel. Cobet. 


friends for whom you feel great concern, should have 
fallen sick, would you fetch that second-best man 
into the house with a view to obtaining health, or 
would you summon a doctor ? 

For my part, I should have both, he replied. 

Please do not say " both," I said, but which of the 
two you would prefer and also summon first. 

No one, he rephed,would make any question but that 
the doctor should be preferred and also summoned first. 

And again, if you were in a ship that was making 
rough weather, to which would you rather entrust 
yourself and yours, the pilot or the philosopher ? 

I should choose the pilot. 

And so it will be in everything else : so long as 
there is some craftsman, the philosopher will not be 
useful ? 

Apparently, he repMed. 

So-naxe-we- Jind_that the^philosoplier. j[s_a_J^£less 
person.? For I suppose we always have craftsmen ; 
and we have agreed that good men are useful, and 
bad ones useless. 

He was obliged to agree to this. 

Then what follows ? Am I to ask you, or will it 
be too ill-mannered .'' l^, <-^ ^-i^ed r^^ »^ K»< 

Ask whatever you please. «> 

Well, my aim, I said, is merely to recall our agree- 
ments upon what has been stated. The matter 
stands somewhat like this. We agreed that philo- 
sophy is an honourable thing, and that philosophers 
are good ; and that good men are useful, and wicked 
men useless : but then again we agreed that philo- 
sophers, so long as we have craftsmen, are useless, 

* det Hermann : 8ri mss. 
' Koi oi>7-ot <pL\6<ro<poi dvai seel. Schanz. 



etvai, Brjfiiovpyovs 8e del elvai. ov yap ravra 
ibfioXoyrjrai ; 

Wdvv ye J rj S' os. 

'Q.IJt,oXoyovjjL€v dpa, <Ls eoiKe, /caret ye rov gov 
Xoyov, eXirep ro <j)iXoao(j)eZv earl TTepl ras" re)(Vo-s 
eTTiarrjjJbovas elvai ov av Aeyet? rov rpoTTOv, ttovtj- 
povs avrovs elvai /cat dxp'^arovs , eojs dv ev dvOpw- 
B TTOLs rexvaL coaiv. dXXd jjutj ovx ovtojs, d> <j)l,Xe, 
exoioi, P'Tjh^ fj rovTO <l>iXoaoj)eZv , irepl rds rexvas 
icTTTOvSaKevac, ou8e 7ToXv7Tpayp,ovovvra KVTrrdt,ovra 
^rjv ov8e 7ToXv[j,adovvTa, dXX' dXXo tl, eirel iyoj 
cpfjb-qv /cat oVetSos" eti^at rovro /cat ^avavaovs 
KaXeladat tovs rrepl rds rexvas eoTrovhaKorag . 
cuSe he aa(j)earepov elaofieOa, el dp* dX-qdrj Xeyu), 
edv rovro dTroKpivr)' rives lttttovs eTrlaravrai ko- 
C Aa^etv opddJs ; irorepov oiTrep ^eXrlcrrovs ttolov- 
aiv r) a'AAot; 

OiTTep ^eXrlarovs • 

Tt he; Kvvag ovx ot ^eXrlarovg eirlcrravrai 
TTOielv, ovroL /cat KoAa^etv opddJs emaravrai; 


*H avrr] dpa rexvrj ^eXrlarovg re TTOiel /cat 
KoXdl^ei opdd/S ; 

^alveral jxol, ■^ S' os. 

Tt he; TTorepov rJTrep ^eXrlarovs re TTOcel /cat 
/coAa^et 6pdd)s, r) avrrj he /cat yiyvcoaKei rovs 
XP'f]orovs /cat rovs fioxd'Tjpovs, rj irepa ns ; 

'H avrr], €(f>rj. 

'E^eAT^cret? ovv /cat /car' dvdpcoTTOvs rovd' ofxo- 

^ pdvaviTos expresses the peculiar contempt felt by Greek 
gentlemen for the work of artisans and even artists. Manual 


THE lo\t:rs 

and that we always do have craftsmen. Has not all 
this been agi-eed ? 

Yes, to be sure, he replied. 

Then we agreed, it seems, by yom* account — if 
philosophizing means having knowledge of the arts 
in the way you describe — that philosophers arevvicked 
and useless so long as there are art^ among mankind. 
But I expect they are not so really, my friend, and 
that philosophizing is not just having a concernment 
in the arts or spending one's life in meddlesome 
stooping and prying and accumulation of learning, 
but something else ; because I imagined that this life 
was actually a disgrace, and that people who con- 
cerned themselves with the arts were called sordid.^ 
But we shall know more definitely whether this 
statement of mine is true, if you vvill answer me 
this : What inen know how to punish horses rightly ? .-^. 
IsutJJiQsej?Lho.jiiak£L thegi inJa-ihe best horses, oHI^^ 
satge other naen ? 

Those who make them into the best horses. 

Or again, is it not the men who know how to make 
dogs into the best dogs that know also how to 
punish them rightly ? 


Then it is the same art that makes them into the 
best dogs and punishes them rightly ? 

It appears so to me, he rephed. 

Again, is t he art that makes them into the b <?st 
Qae&jandjmnkh e s t ltem rightly the same a«^ that whif^h 
knaws the ^ood. and the l^g/^ nnt^c^ nr ic it t ^me- nth^ r ? 

The same, he said. 

Then in the case of men also will you be prejjared 

labour was the business of slaves and persons who were 
unfit for military and political life. 


D Aoyetv, r}7T€p ^eXriarovg dvOpcoTTOvs TTOiel, ravrrjv 
eLvac /cat tt^v KoXdCovaav opdcbs /cai Siayiyvcx)- 
GKOvaav Tovs XPV^'^'^^^ '^^ '^'^^ Toy? p.o)(dripovs ; 

YVdvv ye, €<f)r). 

OvKovv Kal rjrcs eva, /cat ttoXXovs, /cat tJtls 
TToXXovs, /cat eva; 


Kat Ka9' tiTTTcov Srj Kal rwv dXXojv aTTOvroiv 

Tis oSv iorlv rj eTnarrjp.'q , ■^rts rovs iv rat? 
TToXeaiv aKoXacrraLvovras /cat rrapavofjuovvras 6pda>s 
/coAa^et; ovx 'f] SLKaarLKtj ; 


H dXX-qv ovv Tiva /caAei? /cat St/catocrwT^v "^ 

OvK, dAAa rarjTTjv. 
E OvKovv fJTTep KoXd^ovatv dpOws, ravrrj /cat 
yiyvcocTKOvaL rovs ^prjorou? /cat fjboxdrjpovs ; 

Tavrr] . 

"OoTLS 8e eva ytyvtoa/cet, /cat TToAAoy? yvaxrcrai; 


Kat ooTi? ye ttoAAo?)? ayvoet, /cat eva; 

Et apa tTTTTO? aiv dyvoot tou? xPV^^^^^ '^'^'■ 
TTovTjpovs LTTTTovs, Kov avTov dyvool, TToto? Tt? iaTtv ; 

Kat et ^ovs (jov dyvool rovs TTovrjpovs Kal XPV 
arovs <^ovs>,^ kov avrov dyvool, irolos ris iariv ; 

Nat, €(f)7]. 

Ovrcv Srj Kal et kvcdv; 

' /3oCs add. Bekker. 


to agree that the art which makes them into the best 
men is that which punishes them rightly and dis- 
tinguishes the good and the bad ones ? 

Certainly, he said. 

And that which does tliis to one, does it also to 
many, and that which does it to many, does it also 
to one ? 


And so it is also with horses and everything else ? 

I agree. 

Then what is the knowledge which rightly punishes 
the licentious and law-breaking people in our cities ? 
Is it not judicature ? 


And is it any other art than this that you call 
justice ? 

No, only this. 

And that whereby they punish rightly is that 
whereby they know the good and bad people ? 

It is. 

And whoever knows one will know many also ? 


And whoever does not know many will not know 
one ? 

I agree. 

Then if one were a horse, and did not know the 
good and \\-icked horses, would one not know which 
sort one was oneself ? 

I think not. 

And if one were an ox and did not know the wicked 
and good oxen, would one not know which sort one 
was oneself.'' 

That is so, he said. 

And so it would be, if one were a dog .'' 



138 Tt 8 ; eTTecSav dvdpcoTTos tls (jl>v ayvofj tovs 
XpTjorovs Kal jxo-)^dripovs dvdpcLrrovs, dp* ov^ 
avrov ayvoeX, TTorepov )(priar6s ecrrtv r) vovrjpos, 
eTretSi^ koI avros dvdpojTros iariv; 


To 8 iavrov dyvoelv aco(f)povelv iarlu 7] fjbrj 
ao}(f)pov€tv ; 

Mrj a(x)<j>pov€tv . 

To iavTov dpa yLyvajoKeiv earl aoi^povelv ; 

^rjfMi, €(J)rj. 

Tout dpa, cos €olk€, to iv AeA^ois" ypdp,pL(x 
vapaKeXeverai, aa}(j)poGVvrjv dcrKetv /cat St/cato- 


T^ avrfi Se ravrrj /cat /coAa^etv opdws eTnard- 


OvKovv fj /xev /coAct^etv dpdcos eTnardp-eda, 
B Si/caioCTWTj avTT] eariv, rj he ScayLyvwaKecv kal 
eavTov Kal dXXovs, craj(f)poavvr] ; 

"Eoi/cev, €(f)r]. 

TauTov ap eart, /cat StKaLoavvq Kal a(x)<f)poavvrj ; 

Waiver at. 

Kat p,r)v ovro) ye /cat at TrdAet? ev oiKovvrai, 
orav ol dhiKovvres hiKiqv StSaioti/. 

^AX-qdrj XeyeLS, €(f)r]. 

Kat TToXiTiKT] dpa avTTj eariv. 


Tt he orav els avrjp opOtos ttoXlv Sioi/ct^, ovo/xa 
ye TOVTO) ov rvpavvos re Kal ^aaiXevs ; 



He agreed. 

Well now, when one is a man, and does not know 
the good and bad men, one surely cannot know 
whether one is good or wicked oneself, since one is a 
man also oneself ? \. \ Ai^ v^ 

He granted this. ^^ . i ^^^_ ^tfjute^J 

And is " not knowing oneself" being temperate,* - v«aw«.k.' 
or not being temperate ? 

Not being temperate. 

So " knowing oneself " is being temperate ? 

I agree, he said. 

So this is the message, it seems, of the Delphic 
inscription — that one is to practise temperance and 

It seems so. 

And it is by this same art that we know also how 
to punish rightly ? 


Then that whereby we know how to punish rightly 
is justice, and that whereby we know how to dis- 
tinguish our own and others' quality is temperance .'' 

It seems so, he said. 

Then justice and temperance are the same thing ? 


And further, it is thus, you know, that cities are 
well ordered — when the WTongdoers pay the penalty. 

That is true, he said. 

Hence this is also statecraft. 

He concurred. 

Again, when one man governs a city rightly, is he 
not called a despot and king ? 

^ C/. CAarm I de* (Introduction and 164) for the connexion 
in thought and language between temperance and self- 



OvKovv ^aaiXiKfj re /cat rvpavvLKrj Texvr) Siot/cet; 


Kat avrai ap at aiVat re)(yai elalv e/cetVat?; 

C Tt 8e orav eis cov avrjp olklov hioiKfj opdcbs, ti 
ovofia rovro) iariv ; ovk oIkovo/jLos re Kat Se- 


Horepov ovv /cat ovros SiKacocrvvr] ev av rrjv 
oIkIov Blolkol ^ dXXrj rivl re)(yrj ; 


"Eo-rtv apa ravrov, d)s eoiKe, ^acnXevs, rvpav- 
vos, TToXiriKos, OLKovofjiog, BeanorT]?, crcocf}p(DV, 
St/cato?. /cat /iia rexvr] earl ^aatXcKij, rvpavviK-q, 
TToXirLKTj, heanoriKij, oiKovopiLKrj, St/catocruTj, aix>- 
(jjpoavvrj . 

OatVerat, '^4*1' ovrojg. 
D Horepov ovv rat <^tAoo"o<^a), orav p,ev tarpos 
rrepl rcov KafJivovrcov n Xeyrj, alaxpov p.r]d^ erreadai 
rols Xeyofievotg Bvvaadai p.'qre avfJL^aXXeadaL pbrjhev 
rrepl raJv Xeyo/xevcov -^ Trparrojxevcov, /cat OTiorav 
dXXos Tt? rcov hrip.Lovpycx)v, cocravrcos' orav 8e 
St/cacrTT^? •^ ^acnXevs 7] dXXos ns U)V vvv Bt] SieXr]- 
Xvdafiev, OVK alaxpov irepl rovroiv jx-qd^ eTveadai 
Bvvaadai p-rire avp^^aXXecrdaL Trepl avrojv ; 

Yiois 8' OVK alaxpov, c5 HcoKpares, rrepi ye 

roaovrcjjv Trpaypbdrcov /ir^Sev exeLV avfi^dXXeadat; 

E Horepov ovv /cat rrepl ravra Xeycofxev, e(f)r]v, 

TTevradXov avrov Belv elvat Kat, vrraKpov, Kat ravrrjs 

p.ev rd Sevrepela e^ovra Trdvrcov rov ^iX6ao(f)ov, 



I agree. 

And he governs by d kingly and despotic art ? 

That is so. 

And these arts are the same as the former ? 


Again, when a man singly governs a house aright, 

what is he called ? Is hf"J22t^ hniic;p-Tnanagpr And 

master ? 


Then would he also govern his house well by 
justice, or by some other art ? 

By justice. 

Hence they are all the same, it seems, — king, 
despot, statesman, house-manager, master, and the 
temperate man and the just man ; and it is all one 
art, — the kingly, the despotic, the statesman's, the 
master's, the house-manager's, and justice and 

It is so, apparently, he said. 

Then, if it is disgraceful in the philosopher to be 
unable, when a doctor speaks about the sick, either 
to follow his remarks or to contribute anything of 
his own to what is being said or done, and to be in 
the same case when any other of the craftsmen speaks, 
is it not disgraceful that he should be unable, when 
it is a judge or a king or some other of the persons 
whom we have just instanced, either to follow their 
words or contribute an}i:hing to their business ? 

It must indeed be disgraceful, Socrates, to have 
nothing to contribute to subjects of such great 
importance ! 

Are we then to say, I asked, that in these matters 
also he is to be an all-round athlete, a second-rate 
man, taking the second place in all the subjects of 

VOL. VIII z 337 


/cat axpelov clvai, ecos av rovrcov tls fj, rj Trpwrov 
fiev Trjv aurov otKiav ovk aAAoj eTrirpeTrreov ovSe 
ra oevrepela iv Tovrco eKreov, aAA' avrov KoXa- 
areov SLKa^ovra opdcos, et /xeAAet eu oLKeladai 
avrov rj ot/cta; 

T,VV€XCt>p€L 8t] fMOL. 

EvreiTa ye S-qnov idv re ol <^i\oi avrco Siairas 
eTTLrpeTTOjaLv, idv re rj ttoXls ti Trpoardrrr] Sta- 
139 Kpiveiv rj St/ca^eiv, alaxpov ev rovrois, c5 eralpe, 
hevrepov ^aiveadai rj rpirov Kal [Mrj ovx rjyeladai, ; 

AoKel jJUOL. 

IloAAoy apa Sei rjjuv, at ^eXnare, ro ^iXoao(j)eZv 
7roXvp.adia re elvai /cat rj rrepl ras re^yas rrpay- 

EtTTovTO? S' e/xou raura o jiev ao(f>6s alaxvvdels 
rots 7Tpoeiprjjjb€VO(.s eoiyrjaev, 6 8e djiadrjs e<j)rj 
eKeivois elvac /cat ol aAAot enT^veaav rd elprjp,€va. 



this art — he, the philosopher — and is to be useless 
so long as there is one of these persons ; or that, 
first of all, he is to entrust his own house to nobody 
else and is not to take the second place in it, but is 
himself to judge and punish rightly, if his house is to 
be well managed ? 

He granted me that it must be so. 

Secondly, I presume, whether his friends entrust 
him with an arbitration, or the state charges him to 
determine or judge any matter, it is disgraceful for 
him, my good friend, in such cases, to be found in 
the second or third place, and not to lead ? 

I agree. 

Hence we see, my excellent sir, that philosophizing 
is very far from being much learning and that affair 
of busying oneself with the arts. 

On my saying this the cultivated youth was silent, 
feeling ashamed for what he had said before, while 
the unlearned one said it was as I stated ; and the 
rest of the company praised the argument. 




The purpose of this short dialogue is to set forth 
the nature of the potent influence which the society 
of Socrates was observed to have on his young 
companions. The pronouncement which he makes 
(128 D-130 e) on the divine agency by which he is 
directed in his guidance of others is a confession 
intended, apparently, as a serious confirmation of 
Alcibiades' after-dinner sketch of him, in the 
Symposium, as the magically beguihng satyr, the 
great enchanter of young men. In the present scene 
he is approached by Demodocus, an elderly man who 
has held high offices in the state, and who has now 
come to Athens from his rural retreat in order to 
place his son Theages with some suitable professor 
of that higher knowledge, or " wisdom," which the 
young man is anxious to learn. Socrates puts some 
questions to Theages on the nature of the wisdom 
that he seeks to acquire, and obtains the statement 
in reply that what he desires is to govern free citizens 
with their consent, as Themistocles, Pericles, Cimon, 
and other Athenian statesmen have done before 
(126 a) ; but as soon as he is asked who is to teach 
him this sort of ^visdom, he admits that statesmen 
themselves are useless as instructors in their art, 
and asks Socrates to be his teacher (127 a). Demo- 
docus warmly supports his son's request ; he will 


sacrifice everything for so great a boon : but Socrates 
denies his fitness for the task. Theages, however, 
protests that several of his young friends have gained 
great advantage by the instruction they have had 
from Socrates. This draws from Socrates a remark- 
able account of the spiritual voice which, from his 
earhest years, has forbidden certain actions proposed 
either by himself or by those who have consulted 
him (128 i>-129 d) ; and he indicates, by the story of 
Aristeides {cf. Laches, 179 foil.), that his influence is 
not a matter of particular lessons or definite instruc- 
tion, but the mysterious effect of close association, 
and especially of actual contact, with his person (130). 
The good or ill success of the pupil thus depends 
entirely on the decision of an inscrutable \\ill which 
presides over both the master and his mission ; and 
Theages hopes that, if it should not be propitious 
in his case, he may be able to conciliate it by some 
religious rite (131). 

By thus dechning to give any rational basis or 
meaning to his daily occupation, and referring its 
entire governance to that obscure supernatural sphere 
which he was willing to assume but not to discuss 
{cf. Phaedrus, 229, etc.), Socrates may be deemed 
less than faithful here to his general pursuit of 
accurate definition in the principles of ordinary 
affairs ; and the turn which he gives to the talk 
when it touches himself certainly shows him, for the 
nonce, an obscurantist. But apart from the exaggera- 
tions of his ignorance and incompetence which were 
habitual to his modesty, it should be observed that 
there is nothing in this account of his rehance on a 
spiritual sign that does not agree with what we find 
recorded of him elsewhere. In the Apologi/ he gives 



a prohibition of the divine voice as the reason of his 
abstention from pohtics (31 c, d), and again, its 
silence as an indication that liis defence in court 
was rightly conceived and conducted : hence the 
result — his death — must be for his good (40 a-c). 
There is mere irrational mystery in two instances 
which Plato gives of this strange intervention : the 
sign forbade Socrates to start on a walk until he had 
purified himself (Phaedrus, 242 b) ; and just as he 
was getting up from his seat in the dressing-room of 
a gymnasium it forbade him, and he had to sit down 
again (Etithyd. 272 e). " He forewarned many of 
his associates to do this or not to do that," says 
Xenophon {Mem. i. i. 4), "on the prognostication 
of the spiritual sign." There is nothing new, there- 
fore, in his reference of all responsibility for his 
teaching and its results to the divine wai-ning ; 
though nowhere else in the Platonic WTitings do we 
find him dwelling on the matter at such length, and 
it is only in Xenophon that the intervention extends, 
as it does here, outside his own conduct to that of 
his companions. There is, it is true, a passage of 
the Theaetetus (150 d), occurring shortly before a 
mention of the " voice " as his guide in his dealings 
with young men (151 a), where he tells how those 
Avho associate Avith him, " if Heaven is kind to them, 
make amazing progress, as it seems to themselves 
and to others " : but if we read the whole passage, 
and note the fine strength of its reasoning and expres- 
sion, the awkward inconsequence of the Theages 
suggests that an imitator has tried to enlarge the 
mystical element in the Platonic Socrates at the 
expense of the intellectual process of his " mid- 



Some part of the inferiority so apparent in the 
Tkeages might be explained by assuming that it is 
a work of Plato's immaturity : but it is hard to 
beheve that he could at any time have made Socrates 
indulge in the relation of stories about his friends 
(128 foil.) which tend to prove, not his main point — 
that it depends on the spiritual sign whether they 
are to benefit or not from his society — but rather the 
great importance to them of associating A\ith him 
and heeding his prophetic warnings. There seems 
also to be no connexion in his preceding remark 
(128 b) — that he knows nothing but the one httle 
subject of love-matters (cf. St/mpos. 177 e, etc.) ; 
and his account of the divine aid that he receives 
and gives is sadly lacking in the usual Socratic 
humour. On the whole it must be concluded that 
the Theages was composed, probably in the second 
century b.c, by a careful student of Plato's writings 
who ^\^shed to emphasize the mystical side of 
Socrates ; that it found a place at the Academy and 
in the Alexandrian Library among other such 
exercises ; and that by the time of Tlirasj'Uus, who 
made the first complete collection of Plato's wTitings 
early in the first century a.d., it was generally 
regarded as an early sketch by Plato, and so was 
included in the canon ^\-ith his genuine dialogues. 

Theages is mentioned in the Republic (496 b) as 
" our comrade," whose delicate health restrained 
him, hke a bridle, from pohtics, and kept him in 
the path of philosophy : in the Apology (33 e) we 
find that he has died before the trial of Socrates 
(399 B.C.). 



[h nEPI 20<i>IA2 ■ MAIETTIKO2] 

AHM0A0K02, 2nKPATH2, 0EArH2 

St. I AH. 'Q. HicoKparcs, iSeofirjv drra aoi iSioAoyT^- 
aaadai, el axoX-q' kov el aa-)(oXia he fj,r) rrdw rig 
fieydXrj, ojjicug e/xov eveKev TToi-quai a-)(oXriv. 

2n. 'AAAd KOL dXXcos TvyxoLvco axoXd^ojv, /cat Srj 
GOV ye eveKa Kai ttovv. dXX el rt ^ovXet Xeyeiv, 

AH. BouAet ovv Sevpo el? ttjv tov Aios rov 
eXevdepiov crrodv eKTTohojv aTTo^coprjacofxev ; 

2n. El aoL SoKel. 
B AH. "Icofiev Stj. cb YiCOKpares, Trdvra to. (/)VTa 
KivSvvevei rov avrov rpoTiov exetv, Kal rd eK rrjs 
yfjg (f)v6[xeva Kal rd ^coa rd re dXXa Kal dvdpcoTros. 
Kal yap ev rois (f^vroZs paarov r^puv rovro yiyverat, 
oaoL rrjv yrjv yecopyovfxev, ro TrapaaKevdcraadai 
irdvra rd trpo rov <j)vreveLv koI avro ro ^vrevaai. 
eTTeiSdv 8e ro (f)vrevdev ^lw, jxerd rovro depaTreia 
rov <^vvros Kal ttoXXtj Kal y^aXeTrr^ Kal hvoKoXos 


[or on wisdom : " obstetric "] 


Demodocus, Socrates, Theages 

DEM. Socrates, I was wanting to have some private 
talk with you, if you had time to spare ; even if there 
is some demand, which is not particularly important, 
on your time, do spare some, nevertheless, for me. 

soc. Why, in any case I happen to have time to 
spare, and for you, moreover, I have plenty. Well, 
you are free to say whatever you wish. 

DEM. Then do you mind if we step aside here from 
the street into the portico of Zeus the Liberator ^ ? 

soc. As you think best. 

DEM. Let us go, then. Socrates, it would seem 
that all growths follow the same course, both those 
that grow from the earth, and the animals, including 
man. In regard to the plants, as you know, we who 
cultivate the earth find it the easiest part of our 
work to make all our preparations that are needed 
before planting, and to do the planting itself; but 
when the plant begins to grow, thenceforward we 
have a great deal of difficult and vexatious business 

^ This portico or colonnade was near that of the King 
Archon, close to the Agora. 



C yiyverai. ovrco be €)(€i,v eoi/ce /cat to Trepl rcov 
avdpcoTTiov OLTTO TOiv l\xavrov iyoj Trpayf^drcov 
re/c/iaipo/xat /cat is rdAAa. /cat yap e/xot rj rov 
vieos rovTovt, etre <f)VTeiav etVe TratBoTTodav Set 
avrrjv ovo/Jid^eiv, Travrcov pacrrr] yeyovev, rj 8e 
rpocf)-?) Sucr/coAds' re /cat act iv (fyo^co Trepl avrov 
SeStoTt. rd p,€V ovv a'AAa ttoAAo, dv ctr] Xeyetv, r] 
8e vvv TTapovaa iTTLdvfiia tovtu) Trdvv fx€ (j)ofieZ' 
kari fjiev ydp ovk dyevvqs, ajtaXepd 8e- iTndvfxeZ 
yap Sr) ovro? 'f]jxiv, d> HcvKpares, (Zs (f>r](ji, ao<f)6s 
D yevdadat,. Sokco ydp jLtot, rdjv rjXLKLorrdjv nveg 
avrov /cat Btjixotcov, els to darv Kara^aivovres , 
Xoyovs Tivds aTTo/jLvrj/jLovevovres hiarapdrrovaLV 
avrov CVS e^T^Aco/cc /cat TraAat /xot irpdypbara 
TTape^eL, d^icov €7Tt,[X€Xr]6'fjvaL jxe eavrov /cat XPV~ 
fiara reXeaai rivl rwv ao<j)Larcx)v , oaris avrov 
ao(f>6v TTOL-qaeL. e/xot 8e rcov fiev ;^p7j/xaTa;v xat 
eAaTTOV [j,eXei, rjyovfiat, 8e rovrov ovk els fiiKpov 
122 KLvSvvov levaiy ot arrevSei. reojs fiev ovv avrov 
Karet^ov TrapafivOovfievos ' eVetSi^ Se ovKeri olos 
re elfii, rjyovjjLai Kpdriarov elvai rreiOeadaL avro), 
Iva fiTj TToAAa/ct? dvev ejxov avyyevofievos rep 
Sia(f)dapfj . vvv ovv t^koj en avrd ravra, Iva rep 
rovrcov rcov ao(f)Lora)v SoKovvrojv elvai avcrrifjao) 
rovrovi. av ovv -q/jilv els KaXov 7Tape4>dvr]s , & dv 
eyd> /xaAiCTr' e^ovXopirjv Trepl rcov roiotjrcov fieXXcov 
vpd^eLV avp,^ovXevaaadai. aXX et rt e;i^ets' crvfj,- 
B ^ovXeveLV e^ cov e/xou d/cr^/coa?, e^ecrri re /cat XP^- 


in tending the new growth. Such, it seems, is also 
the case in regard to men : I take my own concerns 
as e\idence for judging of the rest. For indeed I 
have found the planting, or the procreation— which- 
ever one ought to call it— of this son of mine the 
easiest thing in the world ; but his upbringing has 
been vexatious and a constant source of alarm, so 
great are my fears for him. Among the many 
instances that I could mention, the desire which 
occupies him at the moment is a thing that especially 
alarms me : for it is not an ill-bred desire, but 
a dangerous one, since here we have him, Socrates, 
as he says, desiring to become vise. My opinion is 
that some of his fellow-townsmen, about his own age, 
who pay visits to the city, excite him -with accounts 
of certain discussions they have heard there ; and in 
his envy of these he has long been pestering me ^^•ith 
the demand that I should take due thought for his 
needs, and pay fees to some sophist or other who will 
make him wise. Now I do not mind so much about 
the fees, but I believe he is running into no shght 
danger where he is hastening. I did for a time restrain 
him with good advice ; but since I am no longer able 
to do so, I beUeve my best course is to comply with 
his request, in order that he may not resort, per- 
chance, behind my back to somebody who A\'ill corrupt 
him. So I have come now on this very business of 
placing this youth with one of these sophists, or 
purveyors of ^^•isdom, as they are held to be. It is a 
happy chance, therefore, that has thrown you in our 
way, as I should be particularly glad, with this plan 
of action in my mind, to ask your advice. Come, if 
you have any advice to give on what you have heard 
from me, you not only may, but should, give it. 



sn. 'AAAa fjAv S-q, CO Ar][x6SoK€, Kol Aeyerat ye 
avfx^ovXy] lepov XP'^H-^^ ctvai,. eiirep ovv /cat dXXr] 
'qriaovv icrrlv lepd, Kol avrr] av e'ir), irepl rjs ov 
vvv avfi^ovXevT]- ov yap eari Trepl orov deLorepov 
av dvOpcoTTos ^ovXevaaLTO ^ rrepL TratSeta? /cat 
C avTov /cat rcov avrov OLKetwv. TTpcorov fiev ovv 
iya> T€ /cat ov avvopLoXoy^acofiev , ri ttotc olojjieda 
rovT* etvai, Trepl ov ^ovXevop-eda- fir] yap ttoXXolkls 
iyd> fjL€V aXXo ri avro VTroXapb^dvo) , crv 8e dXXo, 
/caTretra iroppoi ttov rrjs avvovaias ala9a)[Jbe9a 
yeXoloL ovres, iyco re 6 orvp^^ovXevcov /cat crv o 
avfi^ovXevofievo? , [Jbrjdev row avrcx>v -Qyovjxevoi. 

AH. 'AAAa [xoi So/cet? 6p6a)s Xeyeiv, a> TicoKpares, 
/cat 7TOi€iv XPV ovro). 

sn. Kat Aeyoj ye opdcbs, ov /xeVrot TravraTTaai ye, 
afiiKpov yap ri ixeraridejxai,. evvoo) yap, fxr^ /cat o 
D netpaKLOKOs ovro? ov rovrov eTTidvpiei, ov rjfJieL? 
avrov olofjieda eTTLdvjxeZv, dXX irepov, etr av 
T^/xet? ert droTTcorepot co/xev Trept aAAoy rov ^ovXevo- 
fjLevoL. opdorarov ovv /u,ot 8o/cet etvai air auroiJ 
rovrov dpx^crdat, hiaTTVvdavopbevovs o ri Kai eariv 

oS iTTLdvjJLel. 

AH. Ktt'Sweuet yovv ovrco ^eXrtarov eivai cLg av 

sn. EtVe St7 fjioi, ri KaXov ovofia rco veaviaKco; 
ri avrov Trpoaayopevcofiev ; 

AH, Qedyrjs ovofxa rovrw, a> TicoKpares. 
E 2n. KaAov ye, c5 A7^/xo8o/ce, rco vlel ro ovofxa 
edov /cat lepoTrpeTris. eirre 817 ripuvy cL ©eayes", 

^ i.e. something above and apart from the adviser's 
personal interests, and looking only to what is best. 


soc. Well, you know, Demodocus, they do say that 
advice is a holy thing. ^ And so, if ever it is to be 
accounted holy, it must be in this instance, in wluch 
you now seek it. For there is no more di\ine matter on 
which a mortal could take counsel than the education 
either of himself or of his relations. Now, first of all, 
let you and me come to an agreement as to what we 
suppose that this thing can be, on which we are taking 
counsel ; for it may happen that I conceive it to be 
one thing, and you another, and then when we have 
proceeded some little May in our conference, we 
may perceive how ridiculous we are, I the adviser 
and you the advised, in having no common ground 
in our notions. 

DEM. Why, I think you are right there, Socrates, 
and we should do as you suggest. 

soc. Yes, I am right, but yet not entirely, because 
I have a shght change to make. For it occurs to me 
that this youngster may not be desiring the thing 
that we suppose him to desire, but something else, 
and there again we may be still more absurdly taking 
counsel on some other thing. Hence our properest 
course, it seems to me, is to begin with the youth 
himself, and inquire of him what it actually is that he 

DEM. It does rather look, in fact, as though our 
best way would be thus, as you suggest. 

soc. Then tell me, what is the young person's 
goodly name : how are we to address him ? 

DEM. Theages is his name, Socrates. 

soc. Goodly is the name, Demodocus, and holy- 
sounding,^ that you have bestowed on your son. Tell 
me, then, Theages, do you say you desire to become 

^ " Theages " means " god-guided." 



emOviielv ^r]s ao(f)6s yeveadat, /cat d^ioXs aov rov 
TTarepa rovSe i^evpelv dvhpos tlvos avvovaiav 
roLovrov, oams ere ao(f)6v TToirjaei; 

0E. Nat. 

2n. luO(f)ovs 8e KaXels irorepov tovs erTLarr]- 
jxovas, nrepl orov dv iTTLarrjixoves (Law, t] tovs p,T] ; 

0E. Toys' iTTLaTrjpLovas kycoye. 

2n. Tt ovv; ovK eStSa^aro ae 6 TTarrjp /cat evrat- 

Sevaev direp evddSe ol aAAot TreTraihevvrai, ol tcov 

KaXdJv Kdyaddjv Trarepojv vUls, olov ypap^p^ara re 

Kat Kidapi^eiv /cat TraAat'etv /cat rrjv d?^Xrjv ayojviav; 

123 0E. 'E/xe ye. 

2n. "Ert ovv otet rtro? eTnarT'^fjLrjs eAAetTretv, 
•^S" TTpoa-^Kei VTTep aov rov Trarepa eVt^eArj^^t'at; 

0E. "Eycuye. 

sn. TtV eartt' avrrj ; etVe Kat ly/xtv, tva crot X^P'-' 

0E. OtSe /cat ovTo?, c5 TiCOKpares' eVei iroAAaKts" 
eyco ayroj elp-qKa- dX\d ravra e^eTririqhes rrpos ae 
Ae'yet, co? 817 ou/c etSco? ou e'yttJ €7ndvp,co. roiavra 
yap erepa /cat 77^6? e'/xe fidxeraL re /cat oi3/c edeXei 
jLte ouSep-t avarrjaat. 
B 2n. 'AAAd TO. /xev" ep,7Tpoadev aoi rjv irpos rovrov 
prjdevra warrep dvev p^aprvpcov Aeyo/ixeva- vvvl he 
€fj,€ TToirjaai p,dprvpa, /cat evavriov e/xou Kareirre, 
ris ear IV avr-q rj ao(f>ia 17? e-n-t^y/xet?. ^epe yap, 
el eTTeOvfieis ravrr)S, fj ol dvdpcoTTOL rd nXota 
Kv^epvoJat, /cat eyco ae ervyx^-vov dvepojrwv d) 
Qeayes, rivos evherjs d>v ao(f)ias P'^P-fkll '^V vmrpt, 
oTt OVK edeXei ae avviardvai Trap' atv dv av ao(j>os 



wise, and do you require your father here to find out 
a school of some man who is quahfied to make you 
\vise ? 

THE. Yes. 

soc. And which sort of man do you call vnse, those 
who have knowledge of such and such a thing, what- 
ever it may be, or those who have not ? 

THE. Those who have knowledge, I say. 

soc. Well now, has not your father taught and 
educated you in the subjects which form the educa- 
tion of everyone else here — all the sons of noble and 
honourable fathers — in letters, I mean, and harping 
and wresthng and the other sorts of contest ? 

THE. Yes, he has. 

soc. And you think you are still lacking in some 
knowledge which it behoves your father to provide 
for you ? 

THE. I do. 

soc. What knowledge is it ? Tell us on our side, 
that we may oblige you. 

THE. He knows it, as well as I, Socrates, since I have 
often told him ; only he says this to you of set pur- 
pose, making as if he did not know what I desire. 
For he assails me too with other statements of the 
same sort, and refuses to place me with any instructor, 

soc. Well, what you said to him before was spoken, 
as it were, \vithout ^vitnesses ; but now you shall take 
me as a witness, and declare before me what is this 
■wisdom that you desire. Come now ; suppose you 
desired the wisdom whereby men steer a ship, and I 
happened to put this further question to you : 
Theages, what wisdom is it that you lack, when you 
blame your father for refusing to place you with 
people who would enable you to become wise .'' 

VOL. VIII 2 A 353 


yivoio ; ri av jxol aTreKplvo) ; riva avrrjv eti^at; 
ap' ov KV^cpvTqrLKTjv ; 

0E. Nat. 

C Sa. Et 8e iTn.dvficov ravrrjv rrjv ao<j>iav elvai cro- 

<^6sy fj ra apfxara Kv^epva)aiv , etr' €p.ipi<j)ov no 

TTarpiy ijjiov av ipcorcuvTog rt? ecrnv avnj rj aocjaa, 

TLV* av arreKpivixi avrrjv elvat,; ap" ov)(l rjVLOXi-K'qv ; 

0E. Nat. 

5n. ^Hs 8e hr] vvv rvyxdvets iindvfioJv, TTorepov 
dv(x)vvp,6s TLS icrriv t] e^^t ovofxa; 

0E. Ot/iat eycoye exeti/. 

2n. Yiorepov ovv avrrjv puev otcrda, ov fievroL 
TO ye ovojjLa, rj /cat ro 6Vo/xa; 

0E. Kat TO 6vop.a eycoye. 

2n. Tt ovv eanv ; elTre. 
D 0E. Tt Se aAAo, c5 TiiOKpaT€s, avrrj ovopid tls 
<j>air] dv etvai dAA' rj ao^iav ; 

2n. OvKovv Acat rj rjvio^^eia ao(f>ia eariv ; rj apLaBia 
So/cet CTOt etvai; 

0E. OvK epioiye. 

sn. 'AAAa (jo<f>ia; 

0E. Nat. 

sn. ^Ht Tt xP^H'^^^i o'^X ^ tTTTTCDv iTTiordpLeda 
^evyov? dpx^Lv; 

©E. Nat. 

2n. OuK-ow /cat rj Kv^epvrjTiKr) ao<j)ia iariv; 

0E. "E/xotye So/cet. 

2Q. *Ap' ou;\; avrrj, fj rrXoioiv imarrdpLeda apx^iv ; 

0E. Avrrj pkv ovv. 

5fl. H? Se 817 ot) emQvpel'S, rj ao<f>La rLS iariv; 
E '^ rivos eTTicrrdpeda dpx^iv; 



What answer would you have given me ? What 
wisdom would you name ? The steersman's art, 
would you not ? 

THE. Yes. 

soc. And if a desire to be wise in the wisdom 
whereby they steer chariots led you to blame your 
father, and I asked what wisdom this was, what 
would you name in reply ? The charioteer's art, 
would you not ? 

THE. Yes. 

soc. And is that which you happen to be desiring 
now a nameless one, or has it a name ? 

THE. I should say it has a name. 

soc. Now do you know it, though not its name, or 
do you know its name as well ? 

THE. I know its name as well. 

soc. Then what is it ? Tell me. 

THE. What other name, Socrates, can one give it 
but ^visdom ? 

soc. And the driver's art too is wisdom ? Or do 
you think it is ignorance ? 

THE. I do not. 

soc. You call it wisdom ? 

THE. Yes. 

soc. What use do we make of it ? Is it not the 
art whereby we know how to govern a team of horses ? 

THE. Yes, 

soc. And the steersman's art too is wisdom ? 

THE. I think so. 

soc. Is not this the art whereby we know how to 
govern ships ? 

THE. Yes, it is. 

soc. And the wisdom that you so desire, what is 
it .'' That whereby we know how to govern whom ? 



0E. 'E/Ltot fiev So/cet, fj rcov dvdpioTTOJV. 

2n. Mojp' fj rcov Kafivovrcuv ; 

0E. Ov Srjra. 

2n. 'larpiK^ yap avrrj eariv. rj yap; 

0E. Nat. 

sn. 'AAA' ■^ rojv aBovrojv €Tnardp,eda iv rols 
Xopols dpxetv; 

0E. Ov. 

2n. MovaLKTj yap avrrj ye; 

0E. riavu ye. 

sn. 'AAA' ^ ToDv yvpivat,op,lvcx}v emcrrapieda 
dpx€iv ; 

0E. Ou. 

2X1. Tvp^vacTTLK-rj yap avrrj ye; 

0E. Nat. 

2n. 'AAA' 1^ rojv ri ttolovvtwv ; Trpodvpov etTretv, 
wanep eyoj aol rd ejXTrpoadev. 
124 0E. ^Ht Tcuj^ ei' Tfi TToAet, epoiye So/cet. 

2n. Ow/cow ev T7^ TToAet etcrt /cat ot Kapvovres ; 

0E. Nat, dAA' oi) Tourojv Aeyco povov, dXXd Kai 
Twv dXXiov T(x>v ev rfj vrdAet. 

2n. "^Apa ye puavOdva) rfv Xeyeig rejo'-qv ; SoKels 
ydp pot Xeyeiv ov)( fj tojv 6epLt,6vTO)v eTnarapeda 
dpx^tv /cat rpvycovrcov /cat rcov (f)vr€VOVTCx)v /cat 
aTTeipovrciiv /cat dXodyvrcov avrr] p,ev ydp yecopyiKri 
fj TOVTcov dpxopev rj ydp; 

0E. Nat. 
B 2n. OuSe ye otju-at fj rdJv Trpi^ovrtov /cat rpvTTOiV- 
rcov /cat ^eovrcov /cat TopveudvTa>v ovpTravrcov 
emaTdpeOa apx^tv, ov ravr-qv Aeyets" avrr] ydp 
ov reKTovLK-q ; 

0E. Nat. 


THE. To govern men, I imagine. 

soc. Sick men, do you mean .'" 

THE. Oh, no. 

soc. For that is medicine, is it not ? 

THE. Yes. 

soc. Well, that whereby we knoAv how to govern 
the singers in a chorus ? 

THE. No. 

soc. For that is music ? 

THE. To be sure. 

soc. Well, that whereby we know how to govern 
men in gymnastic training ^ 

THE. No. 

soc. For that is gymnastics .'' 

THE. Yes. 

soc. Well, to govern people who do what ? 
Endeavour your best to speak, as I did to you at 
the beginning. 

THE. To govern the people in the city, I inaagine. 

soc. And are the sick people also in the city ? 

THE. Yes, but I mean not these only, but all the 
rest who are in the city besides. 

soc. Do I understand what art it is that you 
mean ? For you strike me as meaning, not that 
whereby we know how to govern reapers and 
harvesters and planters and sowers and threshers, 
for it is the farmer's art whereby we govern these, 
is it not } 

THE. Yes. 

soc. Nor, I suppose, do you mean that whereby 
we know how to govern sawyers and borers and 
planers and turners, as a class together ; for is not 
that carpentry ? 

THE. Yes. 



sn. AAA lacos ^ rovroiv re Trdvrcov kuI avrcov 
roju yeiopyojv /cat rcbv reKrovwv /cat rwv hriiiLovp- 
ycov aTTavTCDV kul tcov lolwtcov /cat rojv yvvaiKcov 
/cat avSpcov, ravTrjv lgojs Xeyeis ttjv ao(f)iav. 

0E. TavTTjv TraAat, cS Ticok pares, ^ovXofiai 
C 2n. Ejj^et? ow etVeiv, Atyia^o? o ' Ayafie/xvova 
aTTOKTCLvas ev "Apyei dpa rovrcov "^px^v (Lv av 
Xeyeis, rcov re 8r)p,Lovpycov /cat lSlcotcov /cat dvSpaii' 
/cat yyvat/ccDt' avixiravTcov, rj dXXojv tlvcjv ; 

0E. OvK, dXXd rovTOJV. 

2n. Tt be S-q; UrjXevs 6 AlaKov ev O^ta ou roiv 
avrcov rovrcov "^p^ev; 

0E. Nat. 

2Q. UeptavBpov 8e rov dp^ovra ev Ko- 
pivOip rjSrj a.KT]Koas yeveadai; 

0E. "Eycuye. 

2fl. Oi) r(x)v avrcov rovrcov dp^ovra ev rrj 
avrov TToAet; 
D 0E. Nat. 

2X1. Ti 8e; ^Ap^eXaov rov UepStKKOv, rov 
vecoari apxovra ev MaKeSovla, ov roJv avrcov 
7]yfj rovrcov dpx^Lv; 

&E. "Eycoye, 

2n. IttttiW Se Tov HetcrtoTpaTou ev rijBe rfj 
TToXei dp^avra rivcov otei dp^ai; ov rovrcov; 

0E, HcDs" yap ov; 

tCi. EtTTOt? dv ovv /xoL riva eTrcovvfiLav e;)^et 
Ba/ci? re /cat 2t)8t)AAa /cat o 'qfieSaTTos 'ApcfiiXvros; 

^ In Aristophanes and Plato we find mention of only one 
" Sibyl " : later the name, like Bacis (an old Boeotian 


soc. But perhaps it is that whereby we govern, 
not only all these, but farmers themselves also, and 
carpenters, and all craftsmen and ordinary people, 
whether men or women : that, perhaps, is the 
wisdom you mean. 

THE. That, Socrates, is what I have been intending 
to mean all the time. 

soc. Then can you tell me whether Aegisthus, who 
slew Agamemnon in Argos, governed all these 
people that you mean — craftsmen and ordinary 
people, both men and women, or some other persons ? 

THE. No, just those. 

soc. Well now, did not Peleus, son of Aeacus, 
govern these same people in Phthia ? 

THE. Yes. 

soc. And have you ever heard of Periander, son 
of Cypselus, and how he governed at Corinth .'' 

THE. I have. 

soc. Did he not govern these same people in his 

THE. Yes. 

soc. Or again, do you not consider that Archelaus, 
son of Perdiccas, who governed recently in Mace- 
donia, governed these same people ? 

THE. I do. 

soc. And who do you think were governed by 
Hippias, son of Peisistratus, who governed in this 
city ? Were they not these people ? 

THE. To be sure they were. 

soc. Now, can you tell me what appellation is 
given to Bacis and Sibyl and our native Amphilytus }^ 

prophet), was applied to several oracular persons in diflPerent 
places. Amphilytus seems to have come from Acamania to 
Athens in the time of Peisistratus. 



eE. TtVa yap dXXrjv, cL HwKpareg, TrX-qv ye XPV' 

E 2n. ^Opdcos Xeyeis. dAAo. kol rovaSe pLoi ovrco 
TTeipco diTOKpivaadaL, riv* eTTiowpjiav e;\;et 'YTnrias 
/cat VLepiavhpos Sia tt^v avrcbv^ dpxi]v; 
eE. OlfiaL fiev rvpavvor ri yap d'AAo; 

2n. OvKOVV OaTLS i7ndvp,€L Tcbv dvdpOJTTCOV TCJV 

iv rfj TToXeL avpLTravrcov dpx^iv, ri]s avrrjs dpx^S 
TovroLs iTnOvfieX, rvpavvLKrjs, /cat rvpavvos elvai; 

0E. <I>atVeTat. 

2n. OvKovv ravrr]9 cTrt^y/xetv av <f>r}s; 

0E. "Eot/ce ye e$ wv eyco ecTTOv. 
125 2n. ^Q. p,iape, rvpavveiv dpa rj/jicov e7n6vp,a)v 
vrdAat e/ze/x^ou ra> irarpi, on ae ovk eTrep.'nev 
els [StSaff/cciAoy]^ TupawoStSaa/cdAou Ttvds"; /eatery, 
(3 ArjfjLoSoKe, OVK alaxvvr) TrdXai elhdjs ov im- 
dvpcel ovros, /cat exo^v odi Trepuftas avrov Srjp,Lovpy6v 
dv eTTOirjaas rrjs ao(f)ias '^s eTndvfJiel, eVetra <j)6ovels 
re avTa> /cat ovk edeXeis TrepLneLv; dXXd vvv, 
opas ; eTTeiSrj evavriov ifiov KareiprjKe aov, Koivfj 
^ovXevcofjieda eyco re /cat av, is rivos^ dv avrov 
TTepLTroLjJiev Kal Std rrjv tlvos avvovaiav cro(f)6s dv 
yevoLTo rvpavvos; 
B AH. Nat jxd Ata, c3 TicoKpares, ^ovXevcojxeOa 
Srjra, cos 8o/cet ye /xot ^ovXrjs Selv Trepl rovrov ov 

2n. "Eaaov, c5 ^yade. SiaTTvOwpLeOa avrov TTpco- 
rov LKavdjs- 

AH. Ilvvddvov S-q. 


THE. Why, soothsayers, of course, Socrates. 

soc. That is correct. But try to answer me in 
that way regarding those others — Hippias and 
Periander : what appellation is given them on account 
of their government } 

THE. Despots, I suppose ; it must be that. 

soc. And when a man desires to govern the whole 
of the people in his city, he desires the same govern- 
ment as those did — despotism, and to be a despot ? 

THE. Apparently. 

soc. And it is this that you say you desire .'' 

THE. It seems so, from what I have said. 

soc. You scoundrel ! So you were desiring to 
govern us, all the time that you were blaming your 
father for not sending you to some seminary of 
despots ! And you, Demodocus, are you not 
ashamed of having known all the time what he is desir- 
ing, and though you could have sent him where you 
would have made him an expert in the wisdom which 
he desires, actually grudging it to him and refusing 
to send him ? But now, look here, as he has declared 
against you in my presence, shall you and I consult 
together on the question of whose school we shall 
send him to, and whose classes %\ill help him to 
become a vWse despot ? 

DEM. Yes, in faith, Socrates, let us certainly 
consult, as I feel this is a matter on which no shght 
counsel is needed. 

soc. By and by, my good sir. Let us first cross- 
examine him thoroughly. 

DEM. Examine him then. 

^ a.vTCi)v Baiter: avi-rjv mss. 

- 8i5a(TKa.\ov seel. Schleiermacher. 

' £'j rivos Bekker (es riva corr. Coisl.) : i<7Tiv ol, ianv ol mss. 



2X1. Tl oSv dv, €1 EypiTTtSr^ tl Trpoaxpfioaiiieda, 
CO Seayes; KvplttlBtjs ydp ttov (f>r]cn 

ao(poL TvpawoL tcov ao^cbv cwvovaia' 

et ovv epoLTo tls tov ^vpnrLSrjV co ^vpnrihiq, rwv tl 
C Gocpojv crvvovat,a <f)fjs ao(f)ovs clvai roits rvpoiwovs ; 
ojcTTrep av el eliTovra 

aocpoL yeoipyol rdv ao(f>a>v avvovaia, 

rjpop^eda tcov tl ao<f>a)v, tl av rj[XLv OLTTeKplvaTO ; ap* 
av aAAo tl rj tCov to. yecopyLKO.; 

0E. OvK, dAAa TOVTO. 
Sn, Tt 8e; €L €L7T€ 

aocpoL pidyeLpoL tojv ao(f)d)v avvovaia, 

ei rjpopieda tcjv tl ao(j)d}v, tl dv rjfXLV aTreKpivaTo ; 
ovx OTL TCOV Ta pLaycLpLKa^ ; 

0E. Nai, 

2n. Tt S', €L 

ao(f)ol TTaXaLOTal tcov ao(f>d)v cruvovaict 

CLTTev, €L rjpopLeda tcov tl ao<f>cov, dp' ovk dv tojv 
J) 7TaXaL€Lv e(f>ri; 
eE. Nat. 
2n. ETTetSi^ Se etWe 

ao(f)OL TvpavvoL tcov ao<l>cov avvovaia, 

r]p,dJv ipcoTcovTcov, tcov tl ao(f)cov XeyeLS, dJ Eu/atmSi] ; 
TL dv (jtait]; TToZa dv elvaL Tavra; 

0E. 'AAAo, /x,a At' OVK otS' eycjjy^. 

2ri. 'AAAo, ^ovXeL iyco aoL clttco; 

^ tGjv to, /jLayeipiKo. Hirschig : tQv fjLayeipwv, tQiv fj-ayeipiKuiv 


^ This line, also quoted and attributed to Euripides in the 


soc. Well now, what if we called in Euripides to 
our aid, Theages ? For you know Euripides says : 

Despots are wise bj' converse with the wise.^ 
Now, if someone should ask Euripides : Euripides, 
in what are these men -wise, by whose converse you 
say that despots are wise ? I mean, suppose he had 
said : 

Farmers are wise by converse with the wise, 

and we had asked him, — Wise in what ? — what 
answer would he have given us ? Surely none other 
than, — In farming. 

THE. That, and none other. 

soc. Or again, if he had said : 

Piemen are wise by converse with the wise, 

and we had asked him, — Wise in what ? — what 
answer would he have given us ? He would have 
said, — In the pie-making business, — would he not ? 

THE. Yes. 

soc. Or again, if he had said : 

Wrestlers are wise by converse with the wise, 

and we had asked him, — Wise in what .'* — would he 
not reply, — In wresthng ? 

THE. Yes. 

soc. But as he said : 

Despots are wise by converse with the wise, 

and we ask him, — In what do you mean that the 
latter are wise, Euripides ? — what will he reply ? 
What sort of subjects will he mention here ? 

THE. Why, uponmy word, I for my part do not know. 

soc. Well, do you mind if I tell you ? 

Republic (568 a), appears to belong really to Sophocles' lost 
tragedy The Jjocrian Ajax. 



0E. Et cru ^ovXet. 

sn, Taur' earlv arrep e<jirj ^ AvaKpicov rT]v KaAAt" 
KpiTTjv eTTiaTaadaf 7) ovk olada ro acr/xa; 

0E. "Eycoye. 

2n. Tt ovv ; TOiavrrjg rtvo? /cat ai) avvovaias 

E €iTLdvpiels avhpog, oaris TvyxdveL ofiorexfos (ov 

J^aXAiKpirr] rfj KuavTys" /cat eTTiararai rvpavviKo., 

ojOTTep eKCLViqv k(j)rj 6 TTOLiqrrjs, tva /cat cru Tjfxiv 

Tvpawos yevTj /cat rfj TroAet; 

©E. IlaAat, c5 Y^ojKpares, (JKWTrrecs /cat Trat^ei? 

TT/od? /X6. 

2n. Tt 8e; oi5 ravry]s (f)fjs rijs ao<j)ias eTTi- 
dvjjLelv, fj TTavrcov dv rdv ttoXvtcov dp)(OLs; tovto 
Se 7TOLCOV dXXo TL "^ Tvpavvos dv e'lrjs; 

0E. Kv^aLfxrjv jJLev dv, olfiai, eycoye rvpavvos 

126 ycveadai, fidXicrra fiev iravrcov dvdpcoTTCJV, el 8e fjiij, 

COS" rrXeiarcov /cat gv y dv, olfxai, /cat ol dXXoi 

•ndvre? dvOpcoTTOf en 8e ye lacos {xdXXov deos 

yeveaOaf dAA' ov rovrov eXeyov emdvixelv. 

2fl. 'AAAa Tt S-q iari irore ov e7Tidvp,els; ov 
rdjv TToXcrdJv (fiTjs dpxeiv eTTidvpLeiv ; 

&E. Ov ^ta ye ovS^ (LcTrep ol rvpavvoL, dXX eKov- 
Tcov, waTTep /cat ol dXXoi ol iv rfj rroXei eXXoyipioi 

sn. '^Apd ye Xeyeig woTrep Qe/jiLcrroKXrjs /cat 
UepiKXrjs /cat IxifMcov /cat oaoi rd TroAtrt/ca Seivoi 
yeyovaaiv ; 

0E. Nt) Ata rovrovs Xeyo). 
B sn. Tt ovv el rd tTTTrt/cd eruyp^ave? einOvpLdJv 
ao<f)6s yeveadai; jrapd rivas dv d^iK6p.evos cprjdrjs 

^ Nothing is known of this poem. 


THE, If you do not mind. 

soc. They are the same suDJects that Anacreon said 
Calhcrite understood ; or do you not know the ode ? ^ 

THE. I do. 

soc. Well then, do you desire to partake in some 
instruction of that sort from any man who is a 
fellow-craftsman of Callicrite, daughter of Cyane, 
and knows all about despotism as she did, according 
to the poet, in order that you may become a despot 
over us and our city ? 

THE. You are joking all this time, Socrates, and 
making fun of me. 

soc. Why, do you not say that you desire that 
wisdom which ^\^ll enable you to govern all the 
citizens ? And in doing that, will you be anything 
else but a despot .'' 

THE. I should indeed pray, I imagine, that I might 
become a despot, if possible, over all men, and 
failing that, over as many as might be ; so would 
you, I imagine, and everybody else besides : nay, 
even more, I daresay, that I might become a god ; 
but I did not say I desired that. 

soc. Well, what on earth then is it that you do 
desire ? Do you not say you desire to govern the 
citizens ? 

THE. Yes, but not by force, or as despots do, but 
with their consent, as is done by all the other men 
of importance in the state. 

soc. Do you mean, as by Themistocles and Pericles 
and Cimon, and by all those who have shown them- 
selves able statesmen } 

THE. Yes, in good earnest, I mean those people. 

soc. Then what if you chanced to desire to become 
wise in horsemanship ? To whom would you have 



heivos eacadai LTTnevs ; •^ Trap aAAous' Tivas rj 


0E. Ma At" ovK eyojye. 

2n. 'AAAo. Trap' avTovs av rovs Sclvovs ovr as 
ravra, koL ols elai re lttttoi Kal ^(^pwvrai eKaarore 
/cat OLKCiois Kal dAAorptots" TroAAot?; 

0E. ArjXov on. 

2n. Tt 8e et TO. aKovriariKa ao(j>6s i^ovXov 

yeveadai; ov irapa rovs aKOVTiariKovs <^ov av 

eXdojv ao(f)6s eaeaOai, rovrovs, ols eari re aKovria 

C KoX TToAAot? Kal dXXorpiois Kal oiKeioLS eKaarore 

Xptovrai aKovnois ; 

0E. "E/Aotye So/cet. 

5n. Aeye hr^ fiof CTrel 8e Sr] ra TToAtrt/ca ^ovXei 
ao(f>6s yeveadai, otet Trap' aXXovs rivas a(j)iK6p,evos 
(TO<f>6s eaeadai t) rovs ttoXutlkovs rovrovs, rovs 
avrovs re ^eLvovs ovras ra TToXiriKO. Kal ;^pa>)LteVous" 
eKaarore rfj re avru>v TToXei Kal dXXais TToXXaXs, 
Kal 'EXXrjvlai Trpoao/juXovvras TToXeai Kal ^ap- 
^dpois ; Tj hoKels dXXoLs rial avyyevojxevos ao(f)6s 
eaeadai ravra, dVep ovroL, dXX ovk avrols rovrois ; 
D 0E. 'A/CT^Koa yap, o) HcoKpares, ovs ae cfyaai 
Xeyeiv rovs Xoyovs, on rovrcov rcov TToXinKwv 
dvhpdiv ol vlels ovSev ^eXrlovs elalv rj ol rwv 
aKvrorofJiwv /cat jjuol SoKels dXrjdearara Xeyeiv e^ 
wv eyd) hvvajJLai alodeadat. avoiqros av ovv elrfv, 
el oloijjirjv nvd rovrcov epLoi /xev av rrapaSovvat 
rrjv avrov ao^lav, rov he vlov rov avrov {xrjSev 
(I)cf)eXrjaaL, et Tt otos r rjv els ravra (hcj^eXelv dXXov 
ovnvaovv dvdpoiTTiov. 

1 Cf. Alcib. /. 118 E : Prolog . 320 a, b. 



had to resort before expecting to be a clever horse- 
man ? To whom eJse but the horse-masters ? 

THE. Ity no ne else , 1 am sure. 

sec. And moreover, you would go to the actual 
men who are clever at the business, and who have 
horses and constantly use them in great numbers, 
both their own and other people's ? 

THE. Q trviou o ly -T should. 

soc. And what if you wished to become -v^ise in <~^. Utff!*^ 
javelin-throwing ? Would you not expect to get this ^^ ^^<rtl 
wisdom by having resorted to those javelin-masters PVi/ 
who have javehns and who constantly use javehns, 
both other people's and their own, in great numbers ? 

THE. I think so. 

soc. Then pray tell me, since it is your wish to 
become wise in state-matters, do you expect to get 
your wisdom by resorting to any other persons than 
those statesmen, who not only have their own abihty 
in state-matters, but have constant dealings with 
other cities besides their own, by their intercourse 
alike with Greek cities and with foreign peoples .'' 
Or do you think to get wisdom in their business by 
resorting to any other persons than these particular 
men ? 

THE. Well, Socrates, I have heard of the argument 
that you are said to put forward — that the sons of 
those statesmen are no better men than the sons of 
shoemakers ^ ; and in my opinion your words are verv 
true, from what I am able to gather. Hence I 
should be an utter fool if I supposed that any of 
these men would impart his wisdom to me when he 
never was of any use to his own son, as he would 
have been, if he were able to be of use in this 
matter to anyone at all in the world. 



2n. Ti ovv av, o) PeXriare dvSpcov, xPV'^^^o 

aavra>, el crot eTretSi) yevoiro vlos roiavra Trpdy- 

E fjiara Trapep^ot, Kal (f)aLrj fxev dv eTndvjJieZv dyados 

yevecrdat l,(joypd<l)os , Kal pieix^oiro aol ro) rrarpi, 

OTi ovK edeXets dvaXiaKeiv els avrov tovtojv avratv 

eveKa dpyvpiov, rovs Se Sr)[xiovpyovs avrov rovrov, 

Tovs t,0}ypd<j)ovs, drip^d^oi re Kal pLrj ^ovXoiro 

Trap* aincbv fiavddveiv ; rj rovs avXrjrds, ^ov- 

Xofievos avXrjrrjs yeveadai, -^ rovs Kidapiords ; 

exoLs dv avrcp 6 n XP^^ '^^^ ottol 7T€p,7Tois dXXoae 

jXTj edeXovra irapd rovrcov /xavdavetv ; 

0E. Ma At" OVK eycoye. 

127- 2n. Nw ovv ravrd ravra avros Trpos rov 

Trarepa ttolcov dav/xdl^eLs Kal iJL€iJi(f)'rj el drropeZ d ri 

aoi ;;^/37y(T7^Tat Kal ottoi Trep^Trrj^; eirei, Adrjvalcov 

ye rd)v KaXcov KdyaddJv rd TToXiriKd drcp dv 

^ovXrj avarqaopiev ae, ds crot rrpoiKa avvearai' 

Kal dpia puev dpyvpiov ovk dvaXoyaeis , dp.a 8e ttoXv 

pidXXov evSoKipi-qaeis Trapd rot? TroAAots' dvdpcvTTOLS 

*7] dXXcp rep crvvcov. 

0E. Ti ovv, CO HcoKpares ; ov Kal av rcov KaXcbv 
Kayadcov el dvSpdJv; et yap av piot edeXois crvv- 
eivai, e^apKel Kal ovSeva dXXov ^tjtcD. 
B 2n. Tt rovro Xeyeis, Qeayes; 

AH. ^Q. YiOJKpares, ov pbevroi KaKcos Xeyei, Kal 
dpLa piev epol xc-P^fj' d)S eyd) ovk ead' 6 ti rovrov 
pLel^ov dv eppLaiov riyrjaaip-rfv , rj el ovros re dpe- 
GKOcro rfj afj avvovaia Kal av edeXois rovnp avv- 
eZvai. Kal pievroi Kal alax' Xeyeiv d)S a(f)6hpa 
1 irifMirrj Bekker : wifiwoi mss. 

^ Cf. the passage in the Protagoras (330 a, b) which shows 
that young men of good family were often placed with older 



soc. Then which way, mo»l cxLcllcTft gir, would you 
turn if, when you came to have a son, he should 
trouble you in the same manner, and tell you he 
desired to become a good painter, and should blame •'^ * "^ 
you, his father, for refusing to spend money on him 
for that very purpose, but at the same time should 
disregard the practitioners of that very thing, the 
painters, and decline to learn from them ? Or the 
flute-players, when he wished to become a flute- 
player, or the harp-players ? Would you know what 
to do ^\^th him, and where else you should send him 
if he refused to learn from these ? 

THE. Upon my word, I should not. 

soc. And do you now, when you are behaving in 
just the same way to your father, feel surprised and 
blame him for being at a loss what to do ^vith you and 
■where to send you ? Why, we are ready to place 
you with any well-bred Athenian statesman you niay 
choose, who will train you free of charge ^ ; and so 
not only >vill you be at no expense of money, but will 
gain far greater commendation amongst the mass of A',"' 
men than if you studied ^\ith anyone else. 

THE. But then, Socrates, are not you too one of 
our well-bred gentlemen ? Indeed, if you \vill agree 
to instruct me, I am content and seek no other. 

soc. W^hat do you mean by that, Theages ? 

DEM. Nay, Socrates, there is nothing amiss in 
what he says, and you will oblige me at the same 
time ; for I should count it the greatest possible 
stroke of luck if he should welcome your instruction 
and you also should consent to instruct him. Nay, 
indeed, I am quite ashamed to say how keenly I wish 

friends of standing and experience in order to prepare for 
public life. Cf. also Meno 94 d. 

VOL. VIII 2 b SQ9 


^ouAo/xaf aAA eyo) dfi<f>OT€p(jov y/xcDv Seo/xai, ere 
T ideXeiv rovrco crvvelvaL Kal ae fxr) ^'qretv aAAco 
IxrjSevl avyyevecrdat ^ HcoKpdreL- /cat /xe TroAAa)!/ 
C /cat (jjo^epcov aTraAAa^ere ^povrlScov . cos vvv ttouv 
^o^ou/xat UTrep tovtou, jlit^ rivt ctAAo) ivrvxij otco 
TovTov hia^delpai. 

0E. Mry/ceVt vw, c5 TTOLTep, virip y* ifj,ov (f)0^ov, 
€LTr€p otos" T et TTCtcrat rovrov rrjv ep,rjv avvovalav 
TTpoaSe^aadai . 

AH. Ilavu AcaAcDj Aeyet?. c3 Soi/cpares", Trpo? 
ae S' av t^St] etT^ o //.era rovro Xoyos' iyoj yap aoi 
eroiiJios clfjbL, cLs 8ia ^pax^cov elneLV, /cat e/xe /cat- 
rd ijjid ws olov re OLKCLOTara Trapex^tv, otov dv 
D 8^77, ejx^paxv, idv Qedyr] rovrovl doTrdt^rj re /cat 
evepyerfjs o n dv olos re ■^g. 

2n. Q. Ar]fx6SoK€, ro jxkv eo-TrouSa/cevai ae ov 
davfid^co, elrrep otet vtt' e/^ou fidXtcrr* dv crot 
rovrov d)(f)eXrjdrjvaL' ov yap olSa vnep orov dv ris 
vovv exiov fidXXov crTrouSct^ot rj vnep vleos avrov, 
OTTOJ? d)S fieXrLcrrog karav orrodev 8e eSo^e crot 
rovro, d)s iydj dv fJidXXov rov aov vldv olos t' ei'r]v^ 
d)(f)€Xrjaai rrpos ro rroXirriv dyaOov yeviadat rj av 
avTos, /cat oTToBev ovros (pyjdr] e/xe fjbdXXov rj ere 
avrov ch^cXijaeiv, rovro Trdvv davfjid^co. av yap 
E TTpdJrov pbkv npea^vrepos et ifjiov, errecra TToAAa? 
7]8r] dpxds Kal rag ixeylaras ^ Adiqvaiois rjp^as, 
/cat Tt/xa VTTO ^ Avayvpaalcov re rcov Srjfxorcov 
TToXv fidXiara /cat vtto rijs dXXr]s TToXecos ovSevos 
rjrrov ifiol 8e rovrcov ovSev evopa ovSerepos 
vficbv. eVetra et ayaa rrjs puev rcov noXvriKwv 
dvSpojv avvovaias Qedyqs dSe i<ara(f)poveZ, aAAous" 

^ t' etrjv Priscianus : re t' Tjv, re Tjv mss. 


it ; but I entreat you both — you, to consent to teach 
Theages, and you, to seek the teaching of no one 
else than Socrates ; you will thus reheve me of a 
harassing load of anxiety. For just now I am sorely 
afraid of his falling in with some other person who 
is likely to corrupt him. 

THE. Have no more fears for me now, father, so 
long as you are able to persuade him to receive me 
as his pupil. 

DEM. Very rightly spoken. Socrates, from now 
onward we must address ourselves to you ; for I am 
ready, in short, to place both myself and all that I 
hold dearest of what is mine in your hands — whatever 
you may require, absolutely — if you will open your 
arms to Theages here, and do him any service that 
you can. 

soc. Demodocus, your zeal is no wonder to me, if 
you suppose that I especially could be of use to him ; 
for I know of nothing for which a sensible man could 
be more zealous than for his own son's utmost im- 
provement. But how you came to form this opinion, 
that I would be better able to be of use to your son 
in his aim of becoming a good citizen than you would 
yourself, and how he came to suppose that I rather 
than yourself would be of use to him — this does fill 
me with wonder. For you, in the first place, are my 
eider, and further, you have held in your time many 
of the highest offices in Athens, and are respected by 
the people of Anagyrus ^ above all your fellow- 
townsmen, and by the whole state as much as any 
man, whereas neither of you can notice anything hke 
this about me. And moreover, if Theages here does 
despise the instruction of our statesmen, and is look- 

* A deme or township of Attica. 



Se TLvas ^'qrel, ot TTacSevew inayyeXXovTaL oloi re 
elvat veovs avdpwTTOVs, kcmv evravda Kal UpoSiKos 
6 Kelos Kal Topyias 6 Aeovrivos /cat UcoXos 6 
128 *AKpayavTLVOs Kal dXXoL ttoXXoL, ot ovrco aocf)ol 
clatv, ware els rag voXeLs lovres Treidovai rdv 
veiov rovs yevvaiordrovs re Kal TrXovaicordrovs 
oils e^eari rcov rroXircov o) dv ^ovXcovrai TrpoLKa 
avvelvai rovrovs Treidovaiv dTToXeiTTOvras rds 
eKeiviov avvovaias avroXs ovvelvaL, irpooKara- 
ridevras dpyvpiov Trdvv ttoXv^ fiiadov, Kal x^P''^ 
TTpos rovroLS elhevai. rovrwv rivds ecKos rjv 
TTpoaipelcrdac Kai rov vlov gov Kai avrov ae, ejxe 8' 
B ovK eiKos' ovSev yap rovrcov eTrt'ora^at rcov 
jxaKapiuiv re Kal KaXcov p,a9r)pidra}v eirel e^ov- 
XojjLrjv dv dXXd Kal Xeyo) S'^ttov dei, on eyd) 
rvyxdvo), (Ls eiTos enrelv, ovSev evLardfievos 
TrX-qv ye crfxiKpov rivos fxadrjfxaros , rcov ipcortKcov. 
rovro pbevroi rd jjidd-qpia rrap dvrivovv TTOLOvfiai 
Seivos etvai Kal riov Trpoyeyovorcou dvdpcoTTCov Kal 
rcov vvv. 

0E. 'O/aas", c5 irdrep; 6^ HcoKpdrrjs ov Trdvv fioi 
OKei en eoeAetv epbOL crvvoiarpLpeLV eirei ro y 
C epLov eroLfxov, idv ovros ideXr)' dXXd ravra Trai^cov 
rrpos rjjjids Xeyet. enel eyd) ol8a rcov ifidjv rjXiKLco- 
rdov Kal oXiycp rrpea^vrepcov, ot nplv p,ev rovrcp 
avvelvai, ovBevos d^ioi rjaav, eTreiSr] Se avveyevovro 
rovrcp, ev Trdvv oXiyco XP°^V '^dvrcov ^eXrtovs 
^aivovrai wv vporepov x^ipovs. 

5n. Olada ovv olov rovro eanv, c5 ttol Arjfxo- 

0E. Nai fxa At" eycoye, on, idv ov ^ovXrj, Kal 
^ TToXv Beck : ttoXw mss. 


ing for some other persons who profess to be able to 
educate young people, we have here Prodicus of 
Ceos, Gorgias of Leontini, Polus of Acragas, and 
many more, who are so >\'ise that they go to our 
cities and persuade the noblest and wealthiest of our 
young men — who have the choice of learning from 
any citizen they choose, free of charge — they per- 
suade them to abandon that instruction and learn 
from them, with a deposit, besides, of a large sum of 
money as their fee, and to feel thankful in addition. 
Some of these persons might naturally have been 
chosen both by your son and by yourself, in prefer- 
ence to me ; for I have no knowledge of those fair 
and beatific subjects of study : I only wish that I had. 
But what I always say, you know, is that I am in the 
position of knowing practically nothing except one 
little subject, that of love-matters. In this subject, 
however, I claim to be skilled above anybody who 
has ever hved or is now h\ing in the world. 

THE. Do you see, father ? Socrates does'sot seem 
to me to be at all wilhng now to spend his time on 
me ; for there is readiness enough on my part, if he 
is Nvilhng. But he is only jesting in what he has just 
told us. For I know of some of my equals in age, 
and some a httle older, who were of no account before 
they learnt from him, but after beginning to learn 
from him have in a very short time proved themselves 
superior to all whose inferiors they were before. 

soc. And do you know what the meaning of it is, 
son of Demodocus ? 

THE. Yes, on_3ii^:-ioul, I do — that, if it be your 

* 6 Cobet : on mss. 



eyoj OLOS r' eaofxai rotovros yeviadai, otoLTrep Kal 

D 2n. OvK, c5 'yade, dXXd ae \eXrj6ev, olov rovr' 
eariv, eyco 8e ctoi (f>pdacx). eari yap tl deia fxoipa 
TTapeTTOfxevov cfMol e/c TraiSos" dp^dp^evov haipLoviov 
eoTL 8e rovro (fxjovq, rj orav yevr^rai, dei /xot 
crrjp,aivet, o dv fieXXco TrpdrreLv, rovrov dTTorpoTrrjv, 
TTporperrei Se ouSeVoTe* /cat idv Tisp-ot ra>v ^iXojv 
avaKOLvdJrat Kal yevrjraL rj ^covq, ravTov rovro, 
drrorpiTTei /cat ovk id rrpdrreiv. Kal rovrcov 
vpXv p,dprvpag Trape^o/xat. \app,LSrjv yap rovrovl 
yiyvojcTKere rov KaXov yevofxevov, rov TXavKojvos' 

E ovros TTore ervyxo-vev ep.ol dvaKoivovpbevos pbeXXiov 
doKT^aeiv ordBtov els Ncficav Kal evdvs avrov 
dp-)(ojxevov XeycLV, ori /xeAAot dcr/ceiv, eyevero rj 
<f)a>V'q, Kal eyoj SickcoXvov re avrov Kal €L7rov on 
Xeyovros oov pLcra^v yeyove p,oL rj (fxavrj rj rov 
SaijiovLov dXXd p.rj daKCL. ictcos", ^<i>'rj, crrjfiaLvcc 
trot, on ov viK-qcfOJ- iyd) 8e Kav jirj jiiXXo) viKav, 
yvfjivaadp,€v6s ye rovrov rov xpdvov <h(f>eXrj9rjGop,ai' 
ravra elrrcov •^cr/cef d^iov ovv TTvdeadai avrov, d 
X29 o.vra) avve^rj diro ravrrjs rijs duKifjaeois. el he 
^ovXeade, rov Tijidp^ov dSeXi^ov KXeirofiaxov 
epeade, ri elirev avrco Tipiapxos rjVLK dnodavov- 
fxevos fjei evdv rov SrjjjLomov,^ eKelvos re Kal 
EvadXos 6 araSioSpop^cov , os Tip,apxov virehe^aro 
<f)evyovra' ipeZ yap vjj,lv on eiTrev avrcp ravra. 
0E. Tt; 

2n. *^ KXeirofiaxe, '^4'1> ^V^ fxevroL epxop-ai 
aTTodavovjievos vvvi, Siort l^coKpdrei ovk rjdeXov 

^ 5?7/u.ocriou Baiter : 5aiuo;'/oi/ mss. 


pleasure, I too shall be able to become such as those 
others are. 

soc. No, good sir, the meaning of it escapes you ; 
but I will tell it you. There is something spiritual 
which, by a di\ine dispensation, has accompanied 
me from my childhood up. It is a voice that, when 
it occurs, always indicates to me a prohibition of 
something I may be about to do, but never urges me 
on to anything ; and if one of my friends consults 
me and the voice occurs, the same thing happens : 
it prohibits, and does not allow him to act. And I 
will produce witnesses to convince you of these facts. 
You know our Charmides here, who has grown so 
handsome, the son of Glaucon : he once happened to 
be consulting me on his intention of training for the 
Nemean races, and he had no sooner begun to say 
that he intended to train than the voice occurred, 
and I tried to prevent him, saying — " Just as you 
were speaking my spirit -voice has occurred : no, 
you must not train." " Perhaps," said he, " it 
indicates to you that I shall not ■win ; but even if I 
am not to win, at any rate the exercise I shall get 
in the meantime will do me good." So saying, he 
went and trained ; and so you may as well inquire 
of him as to the results he got from his training. Or 
if you like, ask Cleitomachus, brother of Timarchus, 
what Timarchus said to him when he was going 
straight to the prison to meet his death, he and 
Euathlus the racing runner, who had harboured 
Timarchus as a fugitive ; for he will tell you that 
the words he spoke to him were these : 
THE. What ? 

soc. " Cleitomachus," he said, " I tell you I am 
going to my death now, because I would not take 



"neiOeadai. ri hrj ovv rrore rovro elTrev 6 Tiixap'xps; 
iycb (fypdao). ore dvLcrraro e/c rod avfXTroaLov a 

B Tifxap^^os /cat (^iXt^fxajv 6 OiAt^/xoviSou aTTOKrevovv- 
res Nt/ctav rov 'HpoaKajjidvSpov, rjinardadrjv jxev 
avrd> fjiovoj rrjv im^ovXrjv, 6 8e TifjLapxo? dv- 
Lardp,evos Trpos e/ze etTre, ri Aeyets", ^'^^j tS 2c6- 
Kpares ; iifxels piev rrivere, ip,e Se Set vrot i^ava- 
arrjvai' rj^co §e oAtyov varepov, idv rv'^co. /cat ju,ot 
iyevero tj (fiOJVT^, /cat elTTov Trpos avrov, p,r]hapbu)s, 
e(f)r]v, dvaarfjs' yeyove yap p,oi ro CLoydos arjpbelov 

Q ro Sacpiovtov /cat os irreax^. /cat StaAtTToiv xpovov 
avdis wppudro teVat, Kat e</>^, et/xt §t^, HcaKpares' 
avdts eyevero rj <j)a)vrj' avdis ovv avrov rjvdyKaaa 
e7Tta;\;etv. ro rpirov, ^ovX6pb€v6s pie XaOelv, dvearr] 
ovKeri elirdyv /xot ovhev, dXXd Xadcov, eTTinqprjaas 
dXXoae rov vovv e)(ovra' /cat ovnos <PX^''' dTTicbv 
/cat hieTTpd^aro ef c5v fjei drrodavovpievos. odev 
Srj rovr eiTre irpos rov dheX(j>6v orrep vvv vpuv iyco, 
6ri tot drrodavovpievog Sta ro epol dviarrjcraL. 

J) ert roivvv Trepl rojv ev 2t/ceAta ttoXXcov dKovaeadov , 
d iyd> eXeyov irepl rrjs Scacjidopds rod arparoTreScv. 
/cat TO, p,ev TTapeXrjXvdora rcjv etSdraJV eanv 
d/coucraf rrelpav 8' e^eari vvvl Xa^elv rov ar^pbelov, 
el dpa Tt Aeyet. e77t yap rfj irrl orparelav e^oppfj 
HavvLcovos rov KaXov eyevero p.oi ro arjpLetov, 
OLxerai Se vvv pierd QpaavXXov arparevaopcevos 
evdv ^E(f>€aov /cat lo^vta?. eyd) ovv oto/xat ckcIvov 

^ The disastrous Sicilian expedition of 415-413 b.c. Cf. 
Thuc. vi. and vii. 

'^ 409 B.C., when Thrasyllus. succeeded in recovering 
Colophon for Athens. He was one of the commanders put 



Socrates' advice." Now, why on earth did Tini- 
archus say that ? I will tell you. When Timarchus 
and Philemon, son of Philenionides, got up from the 
wine-party to kill Nicias, son of Heroscamandrus, 
those two alone had knowledge of the plot ; and 
Timarchus, as he got up, said to me : " What say 
you, Socrates ? Go on drinking, all of you ; I have 
to get up and go somewhere, but I will join you a 
httle later, if I get the chance." Then occurred 
that voice of mine, and I said to him : " No, no, do 
not get up ; for my accustomed spiritual sign has 
occurred to me." So he stopped. Then after an 
interval of time he again started to go, and said : 
" Well, I am going, Socrates." Again the voice 
occurred, and so again I constrained him to stop. 
The third time, wishing to give me the slip, he got 
up without saying another word to me ; he gave 
me the slip by watching until my attention was 
turned elsewhere. Thus it was that he went right 
off and committed the deed which wjis the cause of 
his going then to his death. And hence it was that 
he spoke those words to his brother which I quoted 
to you just now, that he was going to his death 
because he had not taken my advice. And moreover, 
in regard to the Sicilian business, ^ many will tell you 
what I said about the destruction of the army. As 
to bygones, you may hear from those who know : 
but there is an opportunity now of testing the worth 
of what the sign says. For as the handsome Sannio 
was setting out on campaign, the sign occurred to 
me, and he has gone now with Thrasyllus on an 
expedition bound for Ephesus and Ionia. ^ I accord- 
to death by the Athenians after the battle of Arginusae, 
406 B.C. 



7] aTTodaveZaOai rj o/jlov tl rovrcp y* eAav/ /cat 
vrept ye Tr\s arrparids rrjs aAA?^? ttolvv ^o^ou/xat. 
E Taura Stj Trdvra eLprjKo. aoi, on t] hvvajxis avriq 
rod SaLjJiovlov rovrov /cai els ras crvvovolas tu)v 
fier' ijxov avvhiarpi^ovrcov ro aTTOv Svvarat. 
rroXXois fiev yap ivavTiovrai, Kal ovk eari rovrois 
d)(f)€X'r]6i]vaL fxer^ e/jiov SiarpL^ova-iv, (Zare ovx olov 
re jxoL rovroLs avvStarpi^etv TToAAor? 8e avveivac 
fxev ov Sta/ccoAuet, co^eAowrat Se ovSev avvovres. 
ots S' dv cruAAa^T^rat rrjs uvvovaias rj rod Saifiovlov 
Svvafjiis, ovroL elcriv cov Kal ai) jjadrjaaf ra^v yap 
irapaxpyjP'O' eTnSiSoaaiv. /cat rovrwv av raJv em- 
hihovrojv ol {xev /cat ^e^atov e)(ovuL Kal rrapa- 
130 p-ovifxov rrjv dx^eXeLav ttoXXoI 8e, oaov dv fier' 
e/Jbov XP^^*^^ dxJL, davfxdatov emdiSoaaiv, erreLhdv 
he [jiov aTToa-x^uovr at, ttoXlv ovhev hia(j)€povaLV 
orovovv. rovro TTore erradev ^ApiarelSr^s 6 Auai- 
fjid^ov VLOS rod ^ApiarelSov. hiarpi^ajv yap /Lter' 
epLOV TrdfjiTToXv eTTeSeScoKei ev oXiyco xpovv eneira 
avrcp arpareia ris eyevero Kal wxero eKTrXecov 
rJKcov be KareXdjx^ave fier epLov ScarpL^ovra 
QovKvhiSrjv rov yieXiqaiov vlov rov QovkvSlSov. 
6 8e QovKvBiSr]s rfj irporepaia fioi St' aTrexdeCas 
B €v Xoyocs rialv eyeyovei. Ihcbv ovv jxe 6 ^Api- 
areihrjs, eTreihrj rjairdaaro re Kal rdXXa hieXexdrj, 
QovKvSiSr]v Se, ecjjr], aKovco, & HcoKpares, aepuvv- 
veadai drra irpos ere Kal ;!^aAe7ratVetv' ws rl ovra, 
^ y' e\av Hermann : 7e\aj', iXdv mss. 

^ Cf. Theaet. 151a, from which this passage is derived. 
The Aristeides and Thucydides mentioned here were the 
grandsons respectively of Aristeides, the Athenian statesman 
of the time of the Persian wars, and of Thucj'dides, the 



ingly expect him to be either killed or brought very- 
near it, and I have great fears for our force as a 

Now I have told you all this, because this spiritual 
power that attends me also exerts itself to the full 
in my intercourse -with those who spend their time 
with me. To many, indeed, it is adverse, and it 
is not possible for these to get any good by convers- 
ing with me, and I am therefore unable to spend 
my time in conversing with them. And there are 
many with whom it does not prohibit my inter- 
course, yet the intercourse does them no good. But 
those who are assisted in their intercourse by that 
spiritual power are the persons whom you have 
noticed ; for they make rapid progress there and 
then. And of these, again, who make progress 
some find the benefit both sohd and enduring ; 
while there are many who, for as long a time as they 
are with me, make wonderful progress, but when 
they are parted from me relapse, and are no different 
from anybody else. This once befell Aristeides,^ son 
of Lysimachus, son of Aristeides. For by conversing 
with me he had made immense progress in a little 
time ; and then he had to go on an expedition, and 
he went and sailed away. On his return he found 
that Thucydides, son of Melesias, son of Thucydides, 
had been conversing with me. Now Thucydides, 
the day before, had quarrelled with me over some 
arguments we had had. So when Aristeides saw 
me, after greeting me and talking of other affairs, 
he said : " But Thucydides, I hear, Socrates, is 
somewhat on his dignity with you, and is annoyed 

aristocratic opponent of Pericles. Their fathers Lysimachus 
and Melesias appear in the Laches. 



"EcTTt yo-p, €(f>rjv iyd), ovrcos. Tt Se; ovk oiSev, 
€(f)r], Trplv (Tol avyyevead ai, olov rjv to avSpoLTToSov ; 
Ovk €olk€ ye, e(f)7]v iyco, vrj rovs deovs. 'AAAa 
firjv /cat avros ye, e^^, KarayeXdarcos ^X^> ^ 

C Sco/c/oares". Tt fxaXiaTa; e<f)riv iyd>. "On, ecpr), 
Trplv [Ji€v eKTrXelv, otmovv dvdpoiTnp olos r tjv 
StaXeyeadai /cat fxrjSevos ;^etpa>v (f)aLV€adat eu 
rols Aoyots", (jJCTTC /cat iSicoKov ras" avvovaias tcov 
XCupLeardroiv dvdpcvTTcov vvvt he rovvavriov <j>evyo), 
dv Tiva /cat aladdvcofiai, TTeTTaiSevfievov' ovtcos 
alcrxvvopLaL em rfj efxavrov cf>avX6TrjTL. Horepov 
Se, rjv 8' eyo), €^at(f)vr)g ae TrpovXnrev avrrj r] 
bvva/jbLs r] Kara ajXLKpov; Kara aynKpov, t^ S' 6s. 
*Hj/t/ca he aoi Trapeyevero, rjv S' iyco, TTorepov 

D fMadovTt Trap' efiov ri Trapeyevero , rj rivL aXXcp 
rpoTTCp; Eydj crot ipcb, e(f)rj, a') SdS/cpares', amarov 
fiev VTj rovs deovs, dXrjOes he- eyd) yap ejjiadov 
fjbev TTapd aov ovhev TTcoTTore, to? avros olada' 
eTTehihovv he, orcore ctoi avveirjv, kov €l ev rfj avrfj 
fjLOVOv oIklo. etr^v, firj ev rep avrco he OLKrjp,ari, 
fidXXov he OTTore ev rep avrco ot/CT^/xaxf /cat ep,oiye 
ehoKovv TToXv fidXAov oTTore ev rep avrco ot/cT^/xart 
wv Xeyovros crov ^XeTTOLpn rrpos oe, /xaXXov ^ 

E OTTore dXXoae opcorjv ttoXv he /xaAicrra /cat rrXeZcrrov 
eTTehihovv, orcore Trap avrov ae KaQolp/r\v e)(o- 
fxevos crov /cat aTrro/xevos. vvv he, rj 8' os, rrdaa 
eKCLyr) rj e^is e^eppvrjKev . 

"Ecrrtv ovv, cL Qeayes, roiavrrj rj rjjierepa crvv- 
ovaia' edv jxev rep deep cjiiXov fj, rrdvv ttoXv Ittl- 
hcLaets /cat ra^v, el he jitj, ov. opa ovv jxrj aot 



as though he were somebody. " Yes, that is so," 
I rephed. " Well, but does he not know," he said, 
" what a sad slave he was, before he associated with 
you ? " " It seems not," I replied, " upon my soul." 
" But indeed I myself also," he said, " am in a 
ridiculous position, Socrates." " How exactly ? " 
I asked. " Because," he rephed, " before I sailed 
away, I was able to discuss things wdth anybody, 
and show myself inferior to none in argument, so 
that I even sought out the debates of the most 
accomplished people : but now, on the contrary, 
I shun them, wherever I notice there is anyone of 
education, so ashamed I am of my own ineptitude." 
" Tell me," I said, " did this power forsake you of 
a sudden, or httle by little ? " " Little by little," 
he rephed. " And when it was present with you," 
I asked, " was it present through your having learnt 
something from me, or in some other way ? " "I 
will tell you, Socrates," he said, " what is incredible, 
upon my soul, yet true. For I never yet learnt 
anything from you, as you know yourself : but I 
made progress, whenever I was with you, if I was 
merely in the same house, Avithout being in the 
same room, but more progress, when I was in the 
same room. And it seemed to me to be much more 
when I was in the same room and looked at you as 
you were speaking, than when I turned my eyes 
elsewhere : but my progress was far the greatest 
and most marked whenever I sat beside you and held 
and touched you. Now, however," he said, " that 
condition has all oozed away." 

Such then, Theages, is the intercourse you would 
have with me : if God so wills, you will make very 
great and rapid progress, but otherwise, you will 



aa(f)aXecrr€pov fj Trap* eKeivoiv rivl TraiheveaOai, 
OL eyKparels avroi elai rrjs dx^eXtas 'rjv dxfieXovcri 
Tovs av6pd)7Tovs, fidXXov 7) 7ra/>' ifiol 6 ri, dv 
Tvxi) Tovro rrpd^aL. 
131 0E. 'E/xot fjiev roLvvv So/cet, c5 HwKpares, rj/Jids 
ovTCoal TTOLTJaai, aTroTTeipadrjvaL rov SaipuovLov 
Tovrov avvovras aAATyAots". kol iav fiev TTapeLKrj 
rjfXLV, ravra ^eXriara' el he /xtj, rore rjhrj irapa- 
Xprjfia ^ovXevaopLeOa 6 ri hpaaopLev, e'lre aXXcp 
avveaofieda, e'ire /cat avro to delov ro aol yiyvo- 
fievov TTeipacTOfjieda rrapajjivdeladat eup^atcrt re /cat 
OvGiais /cat ctAAoj orcp dv ol fidvreis e^rjy(x>vr at. 

AH. yirjKeri Trpos ravra avretV^y?, c5 HwKpares, 
T(v fieipaKLCp- €v yap Xeyei Qedyrjs. 

Sn. 'AAA' et So/cet )(prji>ai ovroj TTOteZv, ovrco 



not. Consider, therefore, if it is not safer for you 
to be educated by one of those persons who have 
command themselves of the benefit which they 
bestow on mankind, rather than follow the course 
on which you may chance with me. 

THE. Well then, I decide, Socrates, that our plan 
shall be to make trial of that spiritual sign by associat- 
ing with each other. Thus, if it leaves us free, that 
will be best of all ; if it does not, it will be time 
then for us to consider, at the moment, what we shall 
do — whether we shall associate with someone else, 
or try to conciliate the divine sign itself that occurs 
to you with prayers and sacrifices and anything else 
that the seers may indicate. 

DEM. In view of this, Socrates, say no more in 
opposition to the lad ; for Theages is right in what 
he says. 

see. Well, if you consider that this is what we 
ought to do, let us do it. 




VOL, VIII 2 c 


This Dialogue may be classed with the Hipparchus 
as a fairly able and plausible imitation of Plato's 
early work, but it is destitute of those graceful or 
lively touches of characterization Avhich distinguish 
his first memorials of Socrates, while the sequence 
of thought is awkward and none too clear. Socrates 
asks his nameless companion for a definition of Law, 
and shows how the various answers he receives are 
unsound or inadequate. He then himself suggests 
(315) that it must be true opinion, or discovery of 
reahty.^ His companion thereupon shows at some 
length how greatly laws differ among different 
communities. Socrates recalls him to the point that 
there must be something constant and the same in 
all that can be referred to as law, and cites medicine, 
agriculture, gardening, and cookery as giving 
instances of what he is seeking (316). His require- 
ment of knowledge of what is right in every kind of 
artist or administrator leads him on to a consideration 
of lawgiving as a distributive skill ^ which pervades 
all arts and functions (317-318), and he proceeds, 
with a somewhat laboured solemnity, to set forth 

^ Contrast the discussion in Meno, 97-8, where right 
opinion is clearly distinguished from knowledge. 

* See note on 317 d for this absurd forcing of the primitive 
notion of " distribution " or " apportionment " from the 
word vo/xos, 



the merits of Minos, king of Cnossos in Crete, as a 
lawgiver (319-320) : but, just as we are hoping to 
gain from this long exposition a little more light 
for our inquiry about the meaning of law, we are 
abruptly told that our ignorance is shameful, and the 
discussion is thus clumsily broken off. 




TA TOT AiAAoroT nposmiA 


^* sVs '^^' '^ voyios r)fjbLV Tt iariv ; 

ET. Ylolov^ /cat epojras rwv vojjlojv; 
2X1. Ti he; ecTTiv 6 ri hia^epei vofxos vofiov /car' 
avTO TOVTO, Kara to vofjLos elvai,; aKOTrei yap Stj 
o Tvyxavoi eputr ayv ae. iporrcb yap, ojOTrep el av- 
rjpofirjv, TL eoTt ;^pyCTos", et pie ojaavrcjs avqpov, 
OTToZov /cat Xeya> )(^pva6v, otopLat, ae ovk av 6p.d(os 
epeadai. ovhev yap ttov hia^epei ovre ■)(pva6s 
B p^puCToy ovre Xidos XiOov Kara ye ro Xidos etvai /cat 
Kara ro ■)(^pva6s' ovrco Se ovSe vopbos ttov vopuov 
ovhev hiacjyepei, aAAd rrdvres elal ravrov. vopiog 
yap CKaaros avrwv earlv opotcos, ovx o p,ev p,dX- 
Xov, 6 8' rjrrov rovro Brj avro epojrw, ro rrdv Tt 
eoTt vopios. el ovv aoi Trpoxeipov, eiTre. 

ET. Tt ovv dXXo vopLos elrj av, cS ^coKpares , aAA' 
t) rd vopLL^opieva ; 

^ TTOLov Hermann : bwolov mss. 

^ vo/xi^dfieva in ordinary speech meant " accepted by 
custom " : " loyally " here attempts to preserve the connexion 



Socrates, Coscpaxiox 

soc. Tell me, what is law ? 

COM. To what kind of law does your question refer ? 

soc. WTiat ! Is there any difference between law 
and law, in this particular point of being law ? For 
just consider what is the actual question I am putting 
to you. It is as though I had asked, what is gold : if 
you had asked me in the same manner, to what kind 
of gold I refer, I think your question would have 
been incorrect. For I presume there is no difference 
between gold and gold, or between stone and stone, 
in point of being gold or stone ; and so neither does 
law differ at all from law, I suppose, but they are all 
the same thing. For each of them is law alike, not 
one more so, and another less. That is the particular 
point of my question — what is law as a whole ? So if 
you are ready, tell me. 

COM. Well, what else should law be, Socrates, but 
things loyally accepted ? ^ 

with fofios ("law" in this context, though sometimes 
"custom," as below, 315 d). 



2n. H Kal Xoyos ctol So/cet elvai ra Xeyofxeva, rj 
oijtLs TO. 6p(Ofji,€va, rj olkotj to. a/couo/xeva; 17 aAAo 
C fiev Xoyos, aAAo 8e ra Xeyo/xeva' Kal aAAo fj,€V 
oijjis, aAAo 8e ra opw/Jieva- Kal d'AAo fxev aKorj, 
aAAo Se ra aKovofieva, Kal aAAo Stj vo/xos, dXXo 8e 
ra vofjiL^ofieva ; ovrcos rj ttcos aoi So/cet; 

ET. "AAAo /xoi vvv i<f)dvrj. 

5G. OvK apa vopLos earl ra vop,it,6fjb€va. 

ET. Ov p,oL So/cet. 

2n. Tt S^t' av €ir] vofios; imaKeipcofieOa avro 
oiSe. et ris ly/xa? ra vvv Srj Xeyofieva dvqpero, 
314 iTTetSrj oipei (j>are. ra opcofieva opdadai, rivi ovri rfj 
otpei opdrat; dTTeKpivdjxed^ dv avru), on aladriaei 
rairrr) rfj Sta rcov 6<f)daX[jL<Jov SrjXovarj ra Trpdyfiara- 
et S' av rjpero rjfids, ri 84; cTretSi) aKofj ra aKovo- 
fj,€va d/couerat, rtVt ovri rfj aKofj; aTTeKpivdficd* 
dv avra>, on aladi^aei ravrr] rfj hid rwv wrcov 
SrjXovarj rjpZv rds (fxovds. ovrco roivvv /cat et 
dvcpoLro rjfjids, iTTeiSrj vofxo) ra,opi€va vofii- 
^eraL, rivi ovri rep vofio) vofii^eraL; -norepov 
B aladrjaei nvl •^ hr]X(J)aei, wairep ra pavdavofxeva 
pavddverai SrjXovojj rfj ijnar'qprj, ■>} evpeaei rivi, 
uia-nep ra evpioKopeva evpiaKerai, olov ra pev 
vyicLvd Kal voarwhrj larpiKjj, a Se ot ^eot Stavoow- 
rat, a>s <jiaaiv ol pdvrecg, pavriKrj' rj yap ttov 
rexvrj r]pZv evpeals e'ori rcov 7rpayp,ar<xiV 7^ yap; 

ET. Hdvv ye. 

Sn. Ti odv dv rovrcoy v7ToXd^oip,€v pdXicrra 
Tov vopov elvat; 


soc. And so speech, you think, is the things that 
are spoken, or sight the things seen, or hearing the 
things heard ? Or is speech something distinct from 
the things spoken, sight something distinct from the 
things seen, and hearing something distinct from the 
things heard ; and so law is something distinct from 
things loyally accepted ? Is this so, or what is your 
view ? 

COM. I find it now to be something distinct. 

soc. Then law is not things loyally accepted, 

COM. I think not. 

soc. Now what can law be ? Let us consider it in 
this way. Suppose someone had asked us about what 
was stated just now : Since you say it is by sight that 
things seen are seen, what is this sight whereby they 
are seen ? Our answer to him would have been : 
That sensation which shows obj ects by means of the 
eyes. And if he had asked us again : Well then, 
since it is by hearing that things heard are heard, 
what is hearing ? Our answer to him would have 
been : That sensation which shows us sounds by 
means of the ears. In the same way then, suppose 
he should also ask us : Since it is by law that loyally 
accepted things are so accepted, what is this law 
whereby they are so accepted .'' Is it some sensation 
or showing, as when things learnt are learnt by know- 
ledge showing them, or some discovery, as when 
things discovered are discovered — for instance, the 
causes of health and sickness by medicine, or the 
designs of the gods, as the prophets say, by prophecy ; 
for art is surely our discovery of things, is it not ? 

COM. Certainly. 

soc. Then what thing especially of this sort shall 
we surmise law to be .'* 



ET. To. Soy/xara ravra /cat if/r)(f>La[jiara, e/xotyc 

8oK€L. ri yap av aAAo rtg <f>airi voyiov eivai; 

C u)aT€ Kwhvvevei, o av epcoras, to oAov tovto, 
vofxos, Soyfia ttoXccos etvai. 

Sn. Ao^av, (1)9 eoLKC, Xeyeis ttoXltlktiv rov voixov. 

ET. "Eycoye. 

2ri. Kat laios /caAoi? Aeyeis^* rdxo- Se cSSe 
d/X€ivov elaofjieda. Xdyeis rivas ao^ovs ; 

ET. "Eycuye. 

5n. Ou/cow ot ao(f)oi elai ao(jiia. ao(f>oc; 

ET. Nat. 

2fi. Ti 8e; ol SiKaioL SiKaLoavvrj Si/caioi; 

ET. Hdvv ye. 

5n. OvKovv /cat ot vofiifioL vofxco vofiLfioi; 

D ET. Nat. 

5fl. Ot Se dvofioL avofjiLa dvofioi; 

ET. Nat. 

Sfi. Ot 8e vojJUjJLOi St/caioi; 

ET. Nat. 

2fi. Ot 8e dvofxoL aSt/cot; 

ET. "A8t/coi. 

5n. Oi5/cow KoAAiCTTOv 7^ 8t/caiocn;r7^ re Kai o 
vofios ; 

ET. Ovrois. 

2n. AiCT;]^tOTov 8e rj a8t/cia tc /cat t] avofXLa; 

ET. Nat. 

2n. Kai TO /xev a<i)^€i, rds ttoXcis /cat raAAa 
Trai^a, to be OLTToXXvaL /cat dvarpeTret; 

ET. Nat. 

2n. 'n? 776/31 /caAou apa tii'OS" ovtos Set tou 

vofjiov SiavoetadaL, /cat co? dya^ov avro ^rjreiv. 

ET. ria}? 8' ov; 


COM. Our resolutions and decrees, I imagine : for 
how else can one describe law ? So that apparently 
the whole thing, law, as you put it in your question, 
is a city's resolution. 

soc. State opinion, it seems, is what you call law. 

COM. I do. 

soc. And perhaps you are right : but I fancy we 
shall get a better knowledge in this way. You call 
some men wise ? 

COM. I do. 

soc. And the wise are wise by wisdom .'' 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And again, the just are just by justice } 

COM. Certainly. 

soc. And so the law-abiding are law-abiding by 
law ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And the lawless are lawless by lawlessness ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And the law-abiding are just ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And the lawless are unjust ? 

COM. Unjust. 

soc. And justice and law are most noble ? 

COM. That is so. 

soc. And injustice and lawlessness most base ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And the former preserve cities and everything 
else, while the latter destroy and overturn them ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. Hence we must regard law as something noble, 
and seek after it as a good. 

COM. Undeniably. 



2n. OvKovv Soy/xa €(j)afj,ev etvai TrdAecos" rov 
E ET. "Ei(f>afj,€v ydp. 

2n. Tt ovv; ovK eon ra jxev xpr^ara Soy/tiara, 
ra Se TTOvrjpd; 

ET. "EoTt /Ltev ow. 

2fi. Kat iJt,7]v vofiog ye oy/c -^v TTOvrjpos. 

ET. Oi3 ya/3. 

2n. Ou/c apa opdcbs €^€1 airo Kpivead at ovrws 
ttTrAois', OTt vofjios earl Sdyyua TToAeois". 

ET. Oi)/<: efxoiye So/cet. 

2fl. Oy/c apa dpfioTTOi dv ro TTOvrjpov 8dy/xa 
vofxos clvai. 

ET. Ou S^ra. 

2fi. 'AAAd /xt)j/ Sd^a ye Tt? '<^at ayroi /xoi Kara- 
^aiverai 6 vopios eXvai- CTreiSi) 8e ou;;^ ?] Trovrjpd 
So^a, dpa OVK TJSrj rovro KardS'qXov , (Ls r) ;)^/37ycrT7y, 
€i7re/3 Sd^a vofxos eoTLV ; 

ET. Nat. 

2n. Ao^a Be p^/aT^CTTT^ rtV eanv; ovx rj dXr^drjs; 

ET. Nat. 
315 sn. Oi)/cow •)5 dXy^drjs So^a rov dvros iarlv 

ET. "Eart ya/>. 

2n. '0 vofios; dpa ^ovXerai rov ovros eti/at e^eu- 

ET. rioi? ovv, cS ILoiKpare?, ei d vo/jlos tov 
ovn-os icrrlv i^evpsaig, ovk del roig avroXs vopbois 
Xpd>P'€da TTepl rdJv avrcvv, et to, ovra ye r][XLV 
ii^Tjvprjrai ; 

2n. BodAerat fxev ovSev rjTTOV 6 vofjiog elvai rov 
ovros e^evpeGLS' ol S' apa {x-q rols airrols aet 


soc. And we said that law is a city's resolution ? 
• COM. So we did. 

soc. Well now, are not some resolutions good, and 
others evil .' 

COM. Yes, to be sure. 

soc. And, you know, law was not evil. 

COM. No, indeed, 

soc. So it is not right to reply, in that simple 
fashion, that law is a city's resolution, 

COM. I agree that it is not. 

soc. An evil resolution, you see, cannot properly 
be a law. 

COM. No, to be sure, 

soc. But still, I am quite clear myself that law is 
some sort of opinion ; and since it is not evil opinion, 
is it not manifest by this time that it is good opinion, 
gi-anting that law is opinion ? 

COM, Yes. 

soc. But what is good opinion ? Is it not true 
opinion ? 

COM, Yes. 

soc. And true opinion is discovery of reahty ? 

COM. Yes, it is. 

soc. So law tends to be discovery of reality. 

COM. Then how is it, Socrates, if law is discovery 
of reality, that we do not use always the same laws 
on the same matters, if we have thus got realities 
discovered .'' 

soc. Law tends none the less to be discovery of 
reality : but men, who do not use always the same 



B vofjbois ^pcojiievot avdpojTToi, a>? SoKovfJiev, ovk act 
Svvavrai i^evpiaKciv o ^ovXerai 6 vo/jlos, to ov. 
€7761 (f)€pe Ihcojxev, eav dpa r^plv ivdevSe KaTaSrjXov ye - 
vrjrai, etre rots avroZs del v6p.ois ;^/3a>/Lie^a 7} aAAore 
oAAois", /cat el dvavres rols avroTs rj dXXoi aAAot?. 

ET. 'AAAo, TOVTO ye, co HcLKpares, ov ^(aXeTTOV 
yvcbvat, OTL ovre ol avrol del toIs avrols vopiOLs 
XpcJ^ivrai aAAot re aAAots'. inel avrtKa rifuv /xev 
OV vofMos earlv dvQpa>Trovs dveiv dXX avoaiov, 

C Ka/j;^7j8dvto6 8e dvovoiv cLs oaiov ov /cat vop.ip.ov 
avTols, /cat ravra evioi avrajv /cat rovs avribv 
vleXs ro) Kpovo), (hs tcrcus- /cat av d/CT^/coas. /cat p.r] 
on ^dp^apoL dvdpcoTTOc '))p,d>v dXXois vd/xot? ;^pdii^rat, 
dXXd /cat OL ev rfj Au/cat'a ovtol /cat ol rov ^A6dp,av- 
Tos eKyovoi ota? dvalas dvovaiv "EAAT^ve? ovres' 
wairep koX rjpds avrovs olaOd ttov /cat avros 
dKovojv, otot? v6p,oLS expcop'eda TTpo rov Trepi rovs 
dnodavovras , lepetd re TTpoa<j>drrovres rrpo rijs 

D €Kcf)opds rov veKpov /cat eyxvrpiorpias p.era- 
irepiTTopevof ol 8' av eKeivwv en nporepoi avrov 
/cat edaTTTOv ev rfj oIkIo. rovs dTTodavovras' rjp.ets 
8e roijrcov ovSev 7TOLOvp.ev. pivpla 8 dv ns 'e^oi 
roiavra etVetv ttoAAt) yap evpvxojpla rrjs dno- 
Sel^eojs, COS" ovre rjpels "qplv avrols aei Kara 
ravrd vop,il,op,ei' ovre dAAT^Aots' ol dvOpojiroL. 

2n. OvSev . roL davp.aar6v eanv, c3 fieXnare, 
el (TV p,ev opdctjs Xeyeis, ep.e 8e rovro XeXrjdev. oAA' 
ecus dv av re Kara cravrov Xeyr^s d aoi SoKeX p.aKp(p 

^ Or Lycoa, a town in the Arcadian district Maenalia. 

* Cjf. Herod, vii. 197. At Alus in Achaea Xerxes was 
told of human sacrifices oifered to purge the guilt of Athamas 
in plotting the death of his son Phrixus. 



laws, as we observe, are not always able to discover 
what the law is intent on — reality. For come now, 
let us see if from this point onward we can get it 
clear whether we use always the same laws or 
different ones at different times, and whether we all 
use the same, or some of us use some, and others 

COM. Why, that, Socrates, is no difficult matter to 
determine — that the same men do not use always the 
same laws, and also that different men use different 
ones. With us, for instance, human sacrifice is not 
legal, but unholy, whereas the Carthaginians perform 
it as a thing they account holy and legal, and that too 
when some of them sacrifice even their own sons to 
Cronos, as I daresay you yourself have heard. And 
not merely is it foreign peoples who use different 
laws from ours, but our neighbours in Lycaea ^ and 
the descendants of Athamas ^ — you know their sacri- 
fices, Greeks though they be. And as to ourselves 
too, you know, of course, from what you have heard 
yourself, the kind of laws we formerly used in regard 
to our dead, when we slaughtered sacred victims 
before the funeral procession, and engaged urn- 
women to collect the bones from the ashes. Then 
again, a yet earUer generation used to bury the dead 
where they were, in the house : but we do none of 
these things. One might give thousands of other 
instances ; for there is ample means of pro\ing that 
neither we copy ourselves nor mankind each other 
always in laws and customs. 

soc. And it is no wonder, my excellent friend, if 
what you say is correct, and I have overlooked it. But 
if you continue to express your \-iews after your own 
fashion in lengthy speeches, and I speak likewise, we 



E Xoyci) /cat TrdXiv cyo), ovbev fit] TTore avjji^ojfxev, 
ws iyo) oi/xaf eav 8e KOivov redfj ro aKefifxa, to-x 
av ofJUoXoyqaaLixev . et fiev ovv ^ovXei, TTVvdavo- 
fjbevos Tt, nap' e/xov Koivfj /xer' e/xou crwoTref el S 
av ^ovXei, aTTOKpLvojjLevos . 

ET. 'AAA' edeXo), CO ^wKpares, aTTOKpiveaQai o 
Tt av ^ovXrj. 

2n. Oe'pe hr], av TTorepa vo^it,eis to, St/cata 
aSt/ca etvat /cat to, aSt/ca St/caia, -^ to, /xev 8t/caia 
8t/caia, TO, Se aSt/ca aSt/ca; 

ET. 'Eycb /xev Ttt re St/caia 8i/caia /cat to, a8t/ca 
316 2n. Ou/cow /cat Trapa Traatv ouVcus' a»9 ivddSe vo- 

ET. Nat. 

sn. Ow/cow Kat ev riepCTats'; 

ET. <Kat iv Yl€paaLs>.^ 

sn. 'AAA' del SrJTTOv; 

ET. 'Aet. 

2n. ndre/oov 8e to, TrAetov e'A/covra ^apvTepa 
vo/xt^erat evOdSe, rd 8e eXarrov Kov<j>OT€pa, r] 
rovvavTLov ; 

ET. Ou/c, dAAa TO, TrAetov eXKovra ^apvrepa, Ta 
8e eXarrov Kov(f>6r€pa. 

2n. Oj)/cow /cat ev Ka/3;;^'>^8dt't /cat ev Au/cata; 

ET. Nat. 

2fi. To. /xev KaXd, chs eot/ce, rravraxov vo/xt^erat 
B /caAa /cat to. alaxpd alaxpd, oAA' ou to. ala^pd 
KoXd ovhk rd KaXd alaxpd. 

ET. OvTiOS. 

2n, Oy/cow, CO? Kara Trdvrcov eiTretv, ret ovra 
J «at ^j* n^/)<ra(y add, vulg. 



shall never come to any agreement, in my opinion : 
but if we study the matter jointly, we may perhaps 
concur. Well now, if you like, hold a joint inquiry 
with me by asking me questions ; or if you prefer, 
by answering them. 

COM. Why, I am willing, Socrates, to answer any- 
thing you like. 

soc. Come then, do you consider ^ just things to be 
unjust and unjust things just, or just things to be 
just and unjust things unjust ? 

COM. I consider just things to be just, and unjust 
things unjust. 

soc. And are they so considered among all men 
elsewhere as they are here ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And among the Persians also .'' 

COM. Among the Persians also. 

soc. Always, I presume ? 

COM. Always. 

soc. Are things that weigh more considered 
heavier here, and things that weigh less lighter, or 
the contrary ? 

COM. No, those that weigh more are considered 
heavier, and those that weigh less lighter. 

soc. And is it so in Carthage also, and in Lycaea ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. Noble things, it would seem, are everywhere 
considered noble, and base things base ; not base 
things noble or noble things base. 

COM. That is so. 

soc. And thus, as a universal rule, realities, and 

^ The word voixli'eii> here and in what follows is intended 
to retain some of the sense of pofjLos as " accepted " law and 
custom which it had in what precedes; see note, 313 b. 



vo/XL^erai eivat, ov ra firj ovra, /cat Trap' rj/xLV Kol 
TTapa Tols dXXoig aTraaLV. 

ET. "E/xotye So/cet. 

2n. "Os" civ dpa Tov ovros dfiapravr] , tov 
vofjiljjiov dfxaprdvei. 

ET. OvTco fj-ev, (L YiOJKpareg, cos av Xeyeis, rav- 
rd <j>aiveraL vofiifMa /cat rjfxlv del /cat rot? ctAAot?* 
C eTTCiSav 8' ivvorjaoj, on ovhev Travofxeda dvco Kdrco 
p.erarid€pievoi rovs vofxovs, ov Swa/zat TreLadrjvai. 

Sn. "laoDS ydp ovk iwoels ravra fieraTTerrevo- 
fieva OTL ravrd iarLV. dAA' a>Se /xer' e/xou avrd 
ddpei. rjBr] TTore €V€tv)(€S avyypdfJLixart, irepl uyieiaj 
rcov KafivovTcov ; 

ET. "Eycoye. 

5n. Otcr^a ovv, rlvos rexyrjg rovro iari to avy- 
ypap.fia ; 

ET. OiSa, on larpLKfjs. 

2n. OvKovv larpovs /caAei? rovs imar'qiMovas 
TTcpt Tovrojv; 

ET. ^7)1x1. 

D 5fl. WoTepov ovv ol imarrjiJioves ravrd Trept 
Tcov avrcov vop.l,!^ovaLV i] oAAot dXXa; 

ET. TauTO, ep^oiye SoKOVcrtv. 

2fl. ndrepot' ot "EA-XTyves" p-ovoi rdls "EAATjatv -^ 
/cat ol ^dp^apoL avrols re /cat rot? "EAAiyai, Trept c5i' 
av etSajCTt, raura vo^it^ovaiv ; 

ET. Taura ST^Troy ttoXXtj avayKtj eon rovs 
elSoras avrovs avroXs ovvvofjiil^eiv /cat "EAAr^vaj 
/cat ^ap^dpovs. 



not unrealities, are accepted as real, both among us 
and among aU other men. 

COM. I agree. 

soc. Then whoever fails to attain reahty, fails to 
attain accepted law. 

COM. In your present way of putting it, Socrates, 
the same things appear to be accepted as lawful 
both by us and by the rest of the world, always : 
but when I reflect that we are continually changing 
our laws in all sorts of ways, I cannot bring myself 
to assent. 

soc. Perhaps it is because you do not reflect that 
when we change our pieces at draughts they are the 
same pieces. But look at it, as I do, in this way. 
Have you in your time come across a treatise on 
heahng the sick ? 

COM. I have. 

soc. Then do you know to what art such a treatise 
belongs ? 

COM. I do : medicine. 

soc. And you give the name of doctors to those 
who have knowledge of these matters ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. Then do those who have knowledge accept 
the same views on the same things, or do they accept 
different \iews ? 

COM. The same, in my opinion. 

soc. Do Greeks only accept the same views as 
Greeks on what they know, or do foreigners also 
agree on these matters, both among themselves and 
with Greeks ? 

COM. It is quite inevitable, I should say, that those 
who know should agree in accepting the same views, 
whether Greeks or foreigners. 

VOL. VIII 2d 401 


sn. KaAcDs' ye aTTeKplvoj. ovkovv koI det; 

ET. Nat Kal del.. 

2fi. Ovkovv Kal ol larpol avyypd(j>ovaL Trepi 
E vyielas, dnep Kal vofi,il,ovaiv elvai; 

ET. Nat. 

5n. 'lar/aiKa apa /cat larpiKoi v6p,oL ravra ra 
avyypdp.p.ara earl ra rwv larpojv. 

ET. 'larptKra puevroi. 

sn. ^A/a' ovv Kal rd yecopyiKa avyypdfifiara 
yeoipyiKol vo/jlol eiaiv ; 

ET. Nat. 

2n. Tivoiv ovv earl ra irepi ktjttojv epyaaria^ 
avyypdfjifjbara Kal vofxi/xa; 

ET. KrjTTOVpiOV . 

2Xi. ¥i7]7TovpiKol dpa vofjioi Tjfxiv elaw ovroi. 

ET. Nat. 

Xn. TdJv eTn<jrap.e.vcov K-qnajv dpx^Lv; 

ET. ITcus" S' ov; 

2fi. 'ETTt'oTavrat 8' ot KrjTTOvpoi. 

ET. Nat. 

sn. TtVcDv Se TO. Trept o</»oy aKevaaias ovyypdfi- 

fiard re Kal rd/xt/Aa; 

ET. Mayeipojv. 

2n. Mayet/atKot apa vofxoL elaiv; 

ET. MayetptKot. 

2fl. T(x)v €7n<rrafiev(jjv , d)S eoiKcv, oifiov cr/ceuaata? 

317 ET. Nat. 

2fl. 'EmoTavrat 8', cS? ^aatv, ot pidyeipoi; 

ET. 'ETTioTarTat yap. 

2n. Et€V* rivoiv 8e S->y to, Trepi TrdAecu? hioiKrjaeois 



soc. Well answered. And do they so always ? 

COM. Yes, it is so always. 

soc. And do doctors on their part, in their treatises 
on health, WTite what they accept as real ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. Then these treatises of the doctors are 
medical, and medical laws, 

COM. Medical, to be sure. 

soc. And are agricultural treatises likewise agri- 
cultural laws ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And whose are the treatises and accepted 
rules about garden-work ? 

COM. Gardeners'. 

soc. So these are our gardening laws. 

COM. Yes. 

soc. Of people who know how to control gardens ? 

COM. Certainly. 

soc. And it is the gardeners who know. 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And whose are the treatises and accepted 
rules about the confection of tasty dishes ? 

COM. Cooks'. 

soc. Then there are laws of cookery ? 

COM. Of cookery. 

soc. Of people who know, it would seem, how to 
control the confection of tasty dishes ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And it is the cooks, they say, who know ? 

COM. Yes, it is they who know. 

soc. Very well ; and now, whose are the treatises 



avyypdfjifjLaTd re /cat vd/xi/xa iariv; dp' ov rcbv 
iTTLaTajJievcov TToXeojv dp^eiv; 

ET. "E/iotye So/cet. 

2n. ¥i7TLcrravTai 8e aAAot Ttt'e? t) ol ttoXitikol re 
Kai ol ^aaiXiKOL ; 

ET. OvroL fxev ovv. 

2X1. YloXiTLKa dpa ravra (jvyypdixnard icrriv, 
ovs OL dvdpu)TToi vofxovs KoXovai, ^aaiXeoiv re /cat 
B dvhpa)V dyadojv avyypdfj,p.aTa. 

ET. ^AXrjdrj Aeyet?. 

2fl. "AAAo Tt ovv OL ye iTTLcrrdfMevoL ovk dXXorc 
dXXa ovyypdijjovaL irepi, rcjv avrcijv; 

ET. Ov. 

2n. OvSe neraOijaovTaL nore Trepl rwv avrcbv 
erepa Arai erepa vo/JLLfia; 

ET. Ov Srjra. 

2n. 'Eaj/ OW 6p(x)p,€V TLvas ottovovv tovto 
TTOLovvras, norepa jtrjaojiev eTTLcrr-qiJLOvas elvaL ^ 
dv€7TL<m]fjLovas rovs rovro TTOLOvvras ; 

ET. *Av€7TLcrr'qfjLovas. 

2n. OvKovv Kal o fjL€V dv dpdov fj, vojjLLjJLov avro 
(fy-qaofxev eKdarco elvaL, rj to larpLKOv -q to /xayet- 


ET. Nat. 

C 2n. "0 8' dv fjLTj OpdoV fj, OVK€TL (jyT^aOfXCV TOVTO 

vofjLLfiov elvat; 

ET. OvK€Tl. ^ 

2n. "AvofjLov dpa yiyveTai. 
ET. ^AvdyKTj. 

2fi. OvKovv Kal iv tols avyypdp,p,aaL rots TrepL 
Twv hiKaiojv Kal dhiKCJV Kal oXojs irepl TToXecos 



and accepted rules about the government of a state ? 
Of the people who know how to control states, are 
they not ? 

COM. I agree. 

soc. And is it anyone else than statesmen and 
royal persons ^ who know ? 

COM. It is they, to be sure. 

soc. Then what people call '• laws " are treatises of 
state, — WTitings of kings and good men. 

COM. That is true. 

soc. And must it not be that those who know will 
not WTite differently at different times on the same 
matters ? 

COM. They will not. 

soc. Nor Mill they ever change one set of accepted 
rules for another in respect of the same matters. 

COM. No, indeed. 

soc. So if we see some persons anywhere doing 
this, shall we say that those who do so have know- 
ledge, or have none ? 

COM. That they have no knowledge. 

soc. And again, whatever is right, we shall say is 
lawful for each person, whether in medicine or in 
cookery or in gardening ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And whatever is not right we shall decline 
to call la\vful ? 

COM. We shall dechne. 

soc. Then it becomes unlawful. 

COM. It must. 

soc. And again, in writings about what is just and 
unjust, and generally about the government of a 

1 Cf. Euthyd. 291 c, PoUticus 366-7, where Plato identifies 
the statesman's and the king's art. 



Sta/coCT/xryCTecos re /cat Trepl rod chs XPV ""oAiv 8t- 
oiKeZv, TO /xev opdov voixos icrri ^aaiXiKos , to 8e 
/XT7 opdov ov, o SoAcet vofxos elvai tols fxr] clBoaiv 
eoTi yap dvofjbov. 

ET. Nat. 
D 2X1. ^OpdoJs apa (hfjioXoyqaafiev vojjlov etvat tov 
ovTOs evpecTiv. 

ET. Oatverat. 

2n. "Ert 8e /cat ToSe ev auroi SiaOccofxeda} ti? 
€7TiaTrjpiCov Stavei/Ltat em y^ ra ajrepfxaTa ; 

ET. Feaj/jyo?. 

2n. Oi5ros' 8e to. a|-ta aTrepfiaTa eKaorTrj yfj 

ET. Nat. 

2n. '0 yeojpyos apa vo/jlcvs ay ados rovTwv, /cat 
ot TOVTOV vojxoL /Cat Siavofiai eTrt Tavra opdai 
elaiv ; 

ET. Nat. 

Sn. TtV 8e KpovixoTiov im to. pbeXy] ay ados 
vofievs, /cat to. d'f la vet/xat, /cat ot rtVo? vo/jlol opdoi 
elaiv ; 
E ET. Ot TOV avXrjTov /cat tou KidapiOTov . 

2n. 'O vojJitKarraTOS apa eV TOi^rot?, ovros 
avXrjTLKCxiTaTos . 

ET. Nat. 

2n. Tt? 8e TT^v Tpo<f)rjV em to, tcov avdpwTTOiV 
aa)fjLaTa 8tavet/xat apiaros ; ovx oairep ttjv a^iav ; 

ET. Nat. 

2n. At TOVTOV apa Siavofxal /cat ot vo/xot j8eA- 
TLCTTOL, /cat ocTTts- TTepi Tawa vojjiiKcoTaTos, /cat 
vojjbevs apiaros. 

^ diadedj/xeda Hermann : 8i.a$w/xe0a, deacrw/jLeOa mss. 


state and the proper way of governing it, that w 
is right is the king's law, but not so that which is nut 
right, though it seems to be law to those who do not 
know ; for it is unlawful. 

COM. Yes. 

soc. Then we rightly admitted that law is discovery 
of reaUty. 

COM. So it appears. 

soc. Now let us observe this further point about 
it. Who has knowledge of distributing ^ seed over 

COM. A farmer. 

soc. And does he distribute the suitable seed to 
each sort of land ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. Then the farmer is a good apportioner of it, 
and his laws and distributions are right in this matter ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And who is a good apportioner of notes 
struck for a tune, skilled in distributing suitable 
notes, and who is it whose laws are right here ? 

COM. The flute-player and the harp-player. 

soc. Then he who is the best lawyer in these 
matters is the best flute-player. 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And who is most skilled in distributing food 
to human bodies ? Is it not he who assigns suitable 

COM. Yes. 

soc. Then his distributions and laws are best, and 
whoever is the best lawyer in this matter is also the 
best apportioner. 

* The words diavifieiv and vo/j^vs in this passage introduce 
the primitive meaning of v6fws — ^"distribution" or "ap- 
portionment " of each person's status, property, rights, etc. 



ET. Yldvv ye. 

2n. TtV ovTos; 

ET. IlaiSorpl^7]s . 
318 2n. Oinos rrjv dv6 pcoTreiav dyeXrjv rov acofxaros 
vefiew Kparicrros ; 

ET. Nat. 

2n. Tt? 8e TT^r ru)v Trpo^drcov dyeXqv Kpdr lotos 
vefjbeiv; ri ovofia airroj; 


2n. Oi Tov TToip,€vos dpa v6p,oi dpLoroL Tots TTpo- 

ET. Nai. 

2fl. Ot 8e rov ^ovkoXov rotg ^ovaiv. 

ET. Nai. 

2n. Ot 8e Tou TtVos" vopioi dpioroi rais i/jv^ous 
Tiov dvdpcoTTwv ; ovx ot rod ^aoiXecos; (f)ddi. 

ET. Otj/xi St^. 
B 2n. KaAa)? Toivvv Aeyei?. e'xot? av ow elneiv, 
TLS rdjv TToXaiMV dyados yeyovev iv roXs avX-q- 
TLKoZ'S vo/iot? vojjLoderrjs ; loojs ovk ivvoeis, dXX 
iyd> ^ovXei ae vnonvijoaj ; 

ET. Yidvv jjiev ovv. 

2X1. 'A/a' ovv 6 Mapavag Aeyerat /cat ra TratSt/ca 
auTou "OXvfMTTOs 6 Opu^; 

ET. ^AXrjdrj Xeyeis. 

2n. Toyrojv 817 /cat to, avX'^fxara deLorard iori, 
/cat fxova Kivei /cat e/c^atVet tous' tcoj/ decov iv XPtta 
ovra?" /cat eVt /cat i^w /xwa AotTra, to? ^eia ovra. 

^ Here 1/6)110$ is connected with a special use of vifieiv — 
" find appropriate pasture for "—derived from its original 
meaning of " apportion." 



COM. Certainly. 

soc. WTio is he ? 

COM. A trainer. 

soc. He is the best man to pasture ^ the human 
herd of the body ? ^ 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And who is the best man to pasture a flock of 
sheep ? What is his name ? 

COM. A shepherd. 

soc. Then the shepherd's laws are best for sheep. 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And the herdsman's for oxen, 

COM. Yes. 

soc. And whose laws are best for the souls of men ? 
The king's, are they not ? Say if you agree. 

COM. I do. 

soc. Then you are quite right. Now can you tell 
me who, in former times, has proved himself a good 
lawgiver in regard to the laws of flute-playing ? 
Perhaps you cannot think of him : would you Uke 
me to remind you ? 

COM. Do by all means. 

soc. Then is it Marsyas, by tradition, and his 
beloved Olympus, the Phrj-gian ? 

COM. That is true. 

soc. And their flute-tunes also are most divine, 
and alone stir and make manifest those who are in 
need of the gods ; ^ and to this day they only remain, 
as being di\ine. 

* The awkward imagerj- of this sentence obviously cannot 
have come from Plato's mind or hand. 

* Cf. Sympos. 215 c (from which this allusion to Marsyas 
is feebly imitated) Sr/Xot tou^ tQv deQv re Kal TeXeroJi' Seo/iivoi'S, 
where " in need of the gods " seems to be a mystic phrase 
for " readv for divine possession " (evdovffiofffios). 



C ET. "EoTt ravra. 

2n. Tis" 8e Aeyerai raJv vaXaLwv ^acnXewv 
ayados voiJbodeT7]s yeyovevai, ov en koI vvv ra 
vofiLfxa fj,€V€L d)S ^eta ovra; 

ET. OvK ewocb. 

2n. OvK olcrda, Tives TraAatoraTot? vojiois XP^^' 
rai rcbv 'EiXXijvcDv; 

ET. ^Apa AaKcSaifiovLovs Aeyet? /cat AvKovp- 
yov Tov vofioderrjv ; 

2Ci. 'AAAa Tavrd ye ovScttoj tcrcus err] r piaKoa ta 
7) oXiyo) TovTcov irXeLco. oAAo, tovtojv tcov vofiLfiwv 
D ra ^eXriara TTodev 7]K€(.; olaOa; 

ET. Oacrt y* ck K.p-qrrjS. 

2n. OvKovv ovTOL TTaXatordroLs vofiois ;^/3carTat 
rojv 'EAAi^vcDv; 

ET. Nat. 

2fl. Ota^a ovv, rives tovtcov dyadol ^aaiXels 
rjoav; yiivcos re Koi 'PaSdfj,avdvs, ol Aios Kal 
^vpcoTTTjS TratSes", cbv otSe etati' 01 vo/jlol. 

ET. 'PaSdfjiavdvv ye <f)aaiv, a) YiCJKpares , Si/cator 
dvSpa, rov Se Mlvcov dypiov nva Kal x^^^'^^v Kal 


2n. ^ArriKov, c5 ^eXriare, Xeyeis p.vdov Kal rpa- 
E ET. Tt he; ov ravra Xeyerai Trepl MtVco; 

2n. OvKovv VTTO ye 'Ofxi^pov Kal HaioSov /cat- 
rot ye TTiOavcorepoi elaiv rj avp-Travreg ol rpaywSo- 
TToioi, u)V ov aKoviov ravra Xeyeis. 

ET. 'Ay\Aa Tt /X17V ovroL rrepl MtVoj Xeyovaiv; 

2n. 'Eycu Stq aoL €pco,tva firj Kal av wavep ol 



COM. That is so. 

soc. And who by tradition has shown himself a 
good lawgiver among the ancient kings, so that to 
this day his ordinances remain, as being divine ? 

COM. I cannot think. 

soc. Do you not know which of the Greeks use the 
most ancient laws ? 

COM. Do you mean the Spartans, and Lycurgus the 
lawgiver ? 

soc. WTiy, that is a matter, I daresay, of less than 
three hundred years ago, or but a little more. But 
whence is it that the best of those ordinances come ? 
Do you know ? 

COM. From Crete, so they say. 

soc. Then the people there use the most ancient 
laws in Greece ? 

COM. Yes. 

soc. Then do you know who were their good kings ? 
Minos and Rhadamanthus, the sons of Zeus and 
Europa ; those laws were theirs, 

COM. Rhadamanthus, they do say, Socrates, was a 
just man ; but Minos was a savage sort of person, 
harsh and unjust. 

soc. Your tale, my excellent friend, is a fiction of 
Attic tragedy. 

COM. What ! Is not this the tradition about 
Minos ? 

soc. Not in Homer and Hesiod ; and yet they are 
more to be believed than all the tragedians together, 
from whom you heard your tale. 

COM. Well, and what, pray, is their tale about 
Minos ? 

soc. I will tell you, in order that you may not 
share the impiety of the multitude : for there cannot 



TToAAot d(T€^7Js. ov yap ead' 6 ri tovtov dae- 
^earepov icmv ou8' o ri XP'^ jU-oAAov evXa^eladai, 
TrXr^v €LS deovs KOt Xoycp Kai epyo) i^afxaprdvcLv, 
hevrepov 8e et? tovs deiovs dvdpcjovovs' dXAd ttovv 
TToXXrjv XP'^ '^pofi'qdeiav TTOieladai del, orav fjbeXXrjs 
319 dvSpa ipe^eiv ^ CTraiveaeaQai,, fMTj ovk opdcbg eiTTi^?. 
TOVTOV /cat €V€Ka XPV P'O-vddveiv hiayLyvwaKeiv 
Xpfjcrrovs koI vov-qpovs dvSpas. vefxeaa yap 6 deos, 
OTav TLS fp^yf] Tov eavTO) oixotov ^ iTTaivfj tov iavro) 
evavTLcog exovTa' eari 8 ottos' o dyaOos. p-r) yap 
TL OLov XWovs fiev elvaL Upovs Kal ^vXa Kal opvea 
/cat 6^€is, dvdpcoTTOVs Be fxij' dXXd Trdvrcov tovtcov 
lepojTaTov eoTiv dvdpoiTTOS 6 dyados, Kal pnapoj- 
TaTov 6 7rov7)p6s. 
"HSry ovv Kal irepl MtVco, (hs avrov "Ofxrjpos re 
B /cat 'HcrioSos iyKcofiLa^ovai, tovtov eve/ca <f)pdaoj, 
tva fjiTj dvdpoiTTOS o)v dvdpcoTTOV et? rjpco Atos" vlov 
Xoyo) i^afjLapTavrjs . "Ofirjpos yap irepl l^p'^TTjs 
Xeycov, OTi ttoXXoI dvOpayiroi iv avTjj etcrt /cat 
ivevrjKOVTa ttoXtjcs, Tjjcn Be, ^rjoiv, 

€VL Kvcoaos fxeydXrj ttoXls, evda t€ Mlvojs 
iweo)pos ^aaiXeve Ato? fieydXov oapLcrr-qs. 

C eoTLV ovv TOVTO 'O/Ji'^pov iyKcofMLOV els MtVcov' Sta 
^pax^wv €lprjp,€vov, olov ovB^ els eva tcov rjpa)OJV 
inoLrjaev "Op,r]pos. otl p,ev yap 6 Zeus" ao(f)LaT'qs 
eoTt /cat rj Texyq avTr) irayKaXif] ecrri, TroXXaxov /cat 
aXXodi BrjXoL, dra/) /cat ivravda. Xeyei yap tov 
MtvcDV avyylyveadai evaTco eret to* Att ev XoyoLs 
Kal (f)oi.Tdv TTaLBevOiqaopLevov cos vtto GO(f)i,aTOV 

^ Minos and Rhadamanthus were sons of Zeus by Europa. 


conceivably be anything more impious or more to be 
guarded against than being mistaken in word and 
deed with regard to the gods, and after them, with 
regard to divine men ; you must take very great 
precaution, whenever you are about to blame or 
praise a man, so as not to speak incorrectly. For this 
reason you must learn to distinguish honest and dis- 
honest men : for God feels resentment when one 
blames a man who is Uke himself, or praises a man 
who is the opposite ; and the former is the good man. 
For you must not suppose that while stocks and 
stones and birds and snakes are sacred, men are not ; 
nav, the good man is the most sacred of all these 
things, and the wicked man is the most defiled. 

So if I now proceed to relate how Minos is eulogized 
by Homer and Hesiod, my purpose is to prevent you, 
a man sprung from a man, from making a mistake in 
regard to a hero who was the son of Zeus.'^ For 
Homer,2 in telling of Crete that there were in it 
many men and " ninety cities," says : 

And amongst them is the mighty city of Cnossos, where 
Minos was king, having colloquy' with mighty Zeus in the 
ninth year. 

Now here in Homer we have a eulogy of Minos, briefly 
expressed, such as the poet never composed for a 
single one of the heroes. For that Zeus is a sophist, 
and that sophistry is a highly honourable art, he 
makes plain in many other places, and particularly 
here. For he says that Minos consorted and dis- 
coursed with Zeus in the ninth year, and went regu- 
larly to be educated by Zeus as though he were a 
sophist. And the fact that Homer assigned this 
privilege of having been educated by Zeus to no one 

* Od. xix. 179. 
' 6a/K(Trjjs means *' one who has familiar converse " (6opos). 



orcp aTrevei/Ltev "Ojxr^pos tcov rjpwojv, vtto Ato? 
ireTTaLhevcrdaL, dXXco rj MtVoj, rovr eariv eVaivos' 
D davfiacrros . Kal ^OSvaaclas €v Ne/cuta SiKa^ovTa 
Xpvaovv aKrJTTTpov e^ovra TTeTTOLrjKC tov MiVcov, 
ov rov 'PaSdfiavOvv 'PaSdfxavOvv 8e ovr* ivravda 
StKa^ovra TT€TToirjK€v ovre avyyiyvopievov rco Att 
ovSapiov- Sid ravra (fir^jx iy<h MtVcuv' dTrdvTiov 
fidXicrra vtto 'Ofxrjpov ey/ce/cco/xtacr^ai. to yap 
Aids dvra TratSa [jlovov vtto Aioj TreTraihevadai ovk 
€X€C VTTep^oXrjV eTTaivov. 

TovTO ydp cnj^aivet to enog to 

iweuipos ^aaiXeve Aios fieydXov oapiOT-qs, 

E avvovaLaaTrjv tov Aids etv'ac tov MtVtov. ol ydp 
oapoi XoyoL elai, koX oapLarrjg crvvovaiaaTrjs 
ioTiv iv Adyot?. i(f)OLTa ovv 8i' ivaTov €Tovs els 
TO TOV Alos dvrpov 6 MtVcuj, to, pi€v p,adr]cr6fj,€vos , 
TO. he aTToBeL^ofxevos , a Trj TrpoTepa eweeTrjpiSt 
ip,€[xad'^K€i TTapd tov Alos. elai Se oi VTroXajx^dvovoL 
TOV oaptaTTjv avfXTTOTrjv /cat (TVfnraiaTrjv elvai tov 
Aios' dXXd TwSe dv tis TeKpnqpicp ■^^purro, oti 
320 ovhev Xeyovaiv ol ovtcds VTroXafi^avovTes . ttoXXcov 
ydp ovTcov dvdpcoTTCov, Kal '^XXtjvojv /cat ^ap- 
pdpcov, OVK eoTiv oItivcs aTrexovTai avfiTToatcov 
Kal Tavrrjs ttjs TratSta?, ov eoTiv olvos, dXXoL rj 
}^prJT€s Kal AaKeSaijJiovLOL SerrrepoL, fxadovTes 
TTapd K.prjTcov. iv J^piyrri Se els ovtos cgti tcov 
aXXiov vofiojv, ovs Mlvcos edrjKe, fxr] avfMTTLveiv 
dXXrjXoLS els piedrjv. /catVot SrjXov oti, d,e 
KaXd elvai, TavTa rd/zt/xa edrjKe Kal toXs avTov 
TToXiTais. ov ydp ttov, coarrep ye (f)avXos avdpcoTTOs, 
B d M.iva)s evopnt^e {xev CTepa, eTToiei Se dXXa Trap' a 


among the heroes but Minos makes this a marvellous 
piece of praise. And in the Ghost-raising in the 
Odyssey ^ he has described Minos as judging ^^-ith a 
golden sceptre in his hand, but not Rhadamanthus : 
Rhadamanthus he has neither described here as judg- 
ing nor anywhere as consorting yn\\\ Zeus ; wherefore 
I say that Minos above all persons has been eulogized 
by Homer. For to have been the son of Zeus, and 
to have been the only one who was educated by Zeus, 
is praise \insurpassable. 

For the meaning of the verse — " was king having 
colloquy -vWth mighty Zeus in the ninth year " — is 
that Minos was a disciple of Zeus. For colloquies 
are discourses, and he who has colloquy is a disciple 
by means of discourse. So every ninth year Minos 
repaired to the cave of Zeus, to learn some things, 
and to show his knowledge of others that he had 
learnt from Zeus in the preceding nine years. Some 
there are who suppose that he who has colloquy is a 
cup-companion and fellow-jester of Zeus : but one 
may take the following as a proof that they who 
suppose so are babblers. For of all the many nations 
of men, both Greek and foreign, the only people who 
refrain from drinking-bouts and the jesting that 
occurs where there is wine, are the Cretans, and after 
them the Spartans, who learnt it from the Cretans. 
In Crete it is one of their laws which Minos ordained 
that they are not to drink with each other to in- 
toxication. And yet it is exndent that the things he 
thought honourable were what he ordained as lawful 
for his people as well. For surely Minos did not, 
like an inferior person, think one thing and do 

1 Od. xi. 569. 



€VoiJiiC,€V aAA' -^v avrrj rj crvvovaia, uiOTtep iyoj 
Aeyoj, Ota Xoyojv cttI TratSeta els aperrjv. odev St) 
/cat rovs vofxovs toxjtovs edrjKe rols avrov TToXirais, 
OL ovs 17 re Kp-qrr] rov rrdvra )(p6vov €v8aL[xoveX Kal 
AaKeSaipLcov , d^' ov rjp^aTo tovtols )(prjadai, 
are deiois ovai. 

Paoap,av6vg 8e ay ados p-ev rjv dvTJp- eTTeirai- 
Oevro yap vno rov MtVoc eTTeiTaihevro p,evroi ovj^ 

C oAt^i' rr]v ^aaiXiKrjv re^vrfv, dAA' VTr-qpeaiav rfj 
^aaiXiKfj, oaov eTnarareiv ev rols SiKacmqpioiS' 
odev /cat 8tKaarr]s dyados eXexdrj eluai. vopo- 
(pvXaKi yap avrco exp'^To 6 MtVco? /card ro darv, 
ra he Kara rrjv aXXrjv Ys.prjrrjv ray TdAa>. d yap 
TaAojs" rpis TrepcT^ei rov evtavrov Kara rds Kcop^as, 
(f)vXdrrojv rovs v6p,ovs ev avraZs, ev x^^Xkols ypap,- 
/xareioLS exo)v yeypapup^evovs rovs v6p,ovs, odev 
XclXkovs eKXrjdy]. eiprjKe 8e Kal 'HaloSos d8eX(/)d 

D rovrujv els rov Mlvojv. p,v7]adels yap avrov rov 
ovofjiaros (jyrjaiv 

OS ^aoiXevraros yevero dvrjrcov ^aaiX-^wv, 
/cat TrXelarcov rjvaoae TrepiKriovcov dvOpcoTTCov, 
ZiTjvos excov aKTJnrpov rep Kal noXecov ^aaiXeve. 

Kal ovros Xeyei ro rov Ato? aKrjrrrpov ovSev dXXo 

rq rrjv iraiheiav rrjv rov Aids, fj evdvve rrjv l^p-qri^v. 

ET. Atd Tt ovv TTore, to HcoKpares, avrr] rj 

(f>'i]P''f} KareoKeSaorai rov MtVco ojs drraiSevrov 

E rivds Kal x^XeTTov ovros ; 

5n. At' d /cat av, & ^eXriare, edv acocf>povf]s , 

^ Talos, the brazen man who was given to Minos by Zeus, 
is described by Apoll. Rhod. iv. 1639 foil., and Apollodorus 
i. 9. 26 (where see Sir J. G. Frazer's note in this series). 



another, different from what he thought : no, this 
intercourse, as I say, was held by means of discussion 
for education in virtue. Wherefore he ordained for 
his people these very laws, which have made Crete 
happy through the length of time, and Sparta happy 
also, since she began to use them ; for they are di%'ine. 
Rhadamanthus was a good man indeed, for he had 
been educated by Minos ; he had, however, been 
educated, not in the whole of the kingly art, but in 
one subsidiary to the kingly, enough for presiding in 
law courts ; so that he was spoken of as a good judge. 
For Minos used him as guardian of the law in the 
city, and Talos ^ as the same for the rest of Crete. 
For Talos thrice a year made a round of the \illages, 
guarding the laws in them, by holding their laws in- 
scribed on brazen tablets, which gave him his name 
of "brazen." And what Hesiod ^ also has said of 
Minos is akin to this. For after mentioning him by 
name he remarks — 

^^'ho was most kingly of mortal kings, and lorded it over 
more neighbouring folk than any, holding the sceptre of 
Zeus : therewith it was that he ruled the cities as king. 

And by the sceptre of Zeus he means nothing else 
than the education that he had of Zeus, whereby he 
directed Crete. 

COM. Then how has it ever come about, Socrates, 
that this rejK)rt is spread abroad of Minos, as an un- 
educated and harsh-tempered person ? 

SCO. Because of something that will make both you. 

* The passage quoted does not occur in our text of Hesiod, 
nor is it quoted by any other writer. The metre of the first 
line would be improved if we could read ^aariXtvroraTos, from 
the SaaiXfVTos used by Aristotle, Pol, iii. 17, 1. 

VOL. VIII 2 k 417 


€v\a^rja€L /cat aAAo? Trds av'qp, otco fieXet tov 
evSoKLfiov elvai,, jXT^heTrore a7Te)(ddveadai avhpl 
7TOir]rcKcp firjSevL. ol yap TTOiiqrat fieya Svvavrac 
et? So^av, icf) oirorep av TTOiaJaLV els tows' avOpcL- 
TTOvSi Tj evXoyovvres rj Karr^yopovvre? . o Srj /cat 
e^-qfiaprev 6 MtVco?, TToXejMrjcras rfjSe rfj TroAet, iv 
fj dXXrj re ttoXXtj ao(f)ia earl /cat TTOt'qral TravroSaTTol 
ri)s re dXXrjs TTOiiqaecos /cat rpaycohiag. tj 8e 
321 rpaya)Sia eari TraAatoi' evdaSe, ov)( ws olovrai 0.770 
QeoTTihos dp^afievrj ouS' a770 ^pvvL)(ov, dAA' el 
deXeis evvorjaai, rravv iraXaiov avro evpiqaei? ov 
rfjcrhe rrjs rroXeoJS evpr^jjia. eari he ri]g TTOirjaecos 
hrjp,orepTTecrrar6v re /cat ipuxctyioyiKcorarov -q 
rpaycphia' iv fj 8rj /cat evreivovres ■J^/xet? rov 
MtvcDV rL/xcjpovpieda avd a>v rjfjids rjvdyKaae rovg 
Saajjious reXelv eKelvovg. rovro ovv e^rjp,aprev 6 
Mtj/o)?, arrexdofjievog rjntv, bdev 817, o av ipcorag, 
KaKoSo^orepos yeyovev. eirel on ye dyadog rjv 
B /cat vojjLLjjLos, orrep /cat ev roZs irpoadev eXeyofxev, 
vojjLevs dyados, rovro jxeyiarov ar]jJbeZov, on 
dKLvqroL avrov ol vo/jlol elaiv, are rov ovros rrepl 
TToXecos olK-qaecos i^evpovros ev rrjv dXi^deiav. 

ET. Ao/cet? fMoi, d) HcoKpareg, elKora rov Xoyov 

2n. OvKovv el eyoj dXr^drj Xeyoj, hoKovai aoi 
TToXaiordroLS KpT^res" ot jNItVco /cat 'PaSa/xcti'^yo? 
TToAirat vofjiotg y^prjadai; 

^ This is the meaning most probably intended, from an 
imperfect imderstanding of ivTelvav (" put some story into 
verse, or accompany it with music ") in Plato, Phaedo 60 d ; 
Protag. 326 b. Minos was represented as a harsh despot in 
Euripides' Cretans, and probably also in other lost plays. 

* The legend was that Mino§ defeated the Athenians in 


if you are wise, my excellent fTiend,and everybody else 
who cares to have a good reputation, beware of ever 
quarrelling with any man of a poetic turn. For poets 
have great influence over opinion, according as they 
create it in the minds of men by either commending 
or vilifying. And this was the mistake that Minos 
made, in waging war on this city of ours, which 
besides all its various culture has poets of every kind, 
and especially those who write tragedy. Nowtragedv 
is a thing of ancient standing here ; it did not begin, 
as people suppose, from Thespis or from Phrynichus, 
but if you will reflect, you will find it is a very ancient 
invention of our city. Tragedy is the most popu- 
larly delightful and soul-enthralling branch of poetry : 
in it, accordingly, we get Minos on the rack of 
verse,^ and thus avenge ourselves for that tribute 
which he compelled us to pay.^ This, then, was the 
mistake that Minos made — his quarrel with us — and 
hence it is that, as you said in your question, he has 
fallen more and more into evil repute. For that he 
was a good and law-abiding person, as we stated in 
what went before — a good apportioner — is most con- 
vincingly shown by the fact that his laws are un- 
shaken, since they were made by one who discovered 
aright the truth of reality in regard to the manage- 
ment of a state. 

COM. In my opinion, Socrates, your statement is a 
probable one. 

soc. Then if what I say is true, do you consider 
that the Cretan people of Minos and Rhadamanthus 
use the most ancient laws ? 

war and compelled them to send a regular tribute of seven 
youths and seven maidens to be devoured by the Minotaur 
in the Cretan labyrinth. 



ET. Oatvorrai, 

sn. OvTOL dpa rcov TraXaiihv apiaroi vofioderat 
C yeyovacrt,, vofxfjs re /cat Trot/xeVes" dvhpcov, wcTTrep 
Kal "Ofxrjpog ecf)rj Trot/xeVa Xacov elvai rov dyadov 
GTparrjyov . 

ET. Ilat't* p,ev ovv. 

2n. Oepe Srj TTpos Alos ^lXLov et Tis r)p.ds 
epoLTO, 6 rip aio/xarL dyados vofxoderrjs re Kal 
vofJLevs ri eon ravra d SLaveficov em to acbp,a 
^eXriov avro TToiel, eLTTOLfiev dv KaXdJs re /cat 8td 
^paxeojv drroKpivopjevoiy on rpoi^-qv re /cat ttovovs, 
rfj p,ev av^cov, rocs 8e yu/xva^a»v /cat cruj/icrTas' [ro 
CTto/xa] ^ avro. 

ET. 'Opdcbs ye. 
J) 2n. Et ovv St] jjLerd rovro epotro 7]pids. ri he hrj 
TTore eKeZvd ecmv <d> " o aya^o? vofioderrjs re /cat 
vofxevs Scavepbcov errl rrjv i/jvx'^v ^eXriw avrrjv TvoieZ, 
ri dv dTTOKpivapLevoi ovk dv alaxwdelfiev /cat vnep 
rjp,cbv avrojv /cat rrjs T^At/ct'a? avrchv ; 

ET. OvKeri rovr^ e^oi elirelv. 

Sn. 'AAAo, p,evroL alcrxpdv ye rfj ilfvxf] rjfJicbv 
earlv eKarepov , rd piev ev avraXs (f>aiveadai pLrj 
elbvias, ev ols avrals eveari Kal ro dyadov Kal ro 
(jiXavpov, rd 8e rov acopiaros /cat ra rojv dXXcov 

1 TO iTwfj.a seclusi. * d om. Jiss. 



COM. I do. 

soc. So these have shown themselves the best law- 
givers among men of ancient times — apportioners 
and shepherds of men ; just as Homer called the 
good general a " shepherd of the folk." 

COM. Quite so, indeed. 

soc. Come then, in good friendship's name : if 
someone should ask us what it is that the good law- 
giver and apportioner for the body distributes to it 
when he makes it better, we should say, if we were 
to make a correct and brief answer, that it was food 
and labour ; the former to strengthen, and the latter 
to exercise and brace it. 

COM. And we should be right. 

soc. And if he then proceeded to ask us — And 
what might that be which the good lawgiver and 
apportioner distributes to the soul to make it better ? 
— what would be our answer if we would avoid being 
ashamed of ourselves and our years ? 

COM. This time I am unable to say. 

soc. But indeed it is shameful for the soul of either 
of us to be found ignorant of those things within it on 
which its good and abject states depend, while it has 
studied those that pertain to the body and the rest. 




The name of this short dialogue denotes that it was 
intended to serve as an appendix to Plato's Laws. 
It is improbable, however, that Plato w^ould have 
appended this scanty and unsatisfactory chapter to 
that comprehensive treatise, instead of correcting and 
expanding the latter in many places where it would 
apparently have benefited by the author's revision. 
And when we consider the Epinomis in detail, we very 
soon become aware of contact with an inferior mind, 
which feebly strays and stumbles among the last 
physical and metaphysical speculations of Plato. 
The Epinomis appears to have been grouped with the 
Laws and the Minos, to form a set of three, by 
Aristophanes of Byzantium, the librarian at Alex- 
andria, about 200 B.C. Aheady a number of 
dialogues had been attributed to Plato which by 
that time were commonly rejected as spurious : 
many forgeries were doubtless produced to meet the 
book-collecting zeal of the Ptolemies in the third 
century B.C., and the Epinomis, hke the Minos, con- 
trived to pass muster. Its inclusion here with the 
Platonic writings may be justified, partly as providing 
a curious illustration of such forgery, and of the 
superficial acquaintance with Plato's genius and 
manner wliich must account for the mistake made by 
the Alexandrian scholars in accepting it as genuine ; 
but it also has some undoubted merits of its own — 
in its treatment of astronomical and mathematical 


theories and its earnest, if rather vague, manner of 
exposition — which deserve the attention of Platonic 

The primary object of the work is to supplement 
the passage at the end of the Lans (xii. 966-7), where 
the training of the Nocturnal Council is briefly 
sketched. The speakers are the same — the Athenian 
stranger, Megillus the Spartan, and Cleinias the 
Cretan — and they are continuing the conversation 
that they had the day before, as described at the 
beginning of the Latvs (i. 625), on a walk from Cnossos 
to the temple of Zeus beneath Mount Ida in Crete. 
As before, the Athenian does most of the speaking. 
He expounds his scheme of education, consisting of 
arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy : the last of 
these is to be a kind of theolog)', invohnng a study of 
the cosmic soul or hfe-principle, and of the various 
degrees of di\"ine beings (973-983) ; the writer here 
seems to have had his eye on the Timaeus. We 
proceed to consider the special kind of mathematics 
recommended in Latvs, vii. 818-820, under the heads 
of arithmetic and geometrv as apphed to astronomy 

Through the verbose and ill-connected exposition 
of the Athenian one impression emerges clearly 
enough — that the author is intent on urging the 
importance of astronomy as the means to true ^visdom. 
We need only read with attention the concluding 
pages of the Lans to reahze how much more profound 
and ample is the "wisdom which Plato inculcates, and 
how far below even his last composition, betraying, 
as it does, some decline in his powers of reasoning 
and expression, is the hardy attempt of this zealous 
but small-minded imitator. 






p. 073 KA. Upog fiev TO ttjs o/xoAoy ta? rjKOfxev aTravres 
opdoJs, c5 ^eve, rpeis ovres, eyd) Kal av /cat MeyiAAos' 
ohe, TO TTJs (fypoviqaeojs e7rtcrKe</rd;u.evot Tivi ttotc 
XP'T) Xoycp Bce^eXdelv, o ttjv dvdpcoTTivqv e^iv 
0a/xeV, OTOv SLavorjdrj, koXXlot" ex^iv ttocclv vpos 
(fypovrjCTLV oar]v SvvaTov dvdpcoTTCp axelv. ra [xev 
yap aAAa, ws (f)afi€V, dnavTa Sce^t^Xdopiev oaa rjv 
B Trept vop^CDV deaiv o 8e p,eyiaTov evpeZv T€ Kai 
etTTcXv, TL TTOTe pbaOojv dvr^Tos dvdpa)7T0S ao(f)OS d.v 

€17], TOVTO OVT€ €L7TOpl,€V OUT€ r]VpOp,€V. VVV §6 

TTeipwpieda tovto pirj KaTaXtTrelv ax^^ov ydp 
aTeXes dv Trpa^aipbev ov X^P'-^ aTravTes djppbrjaaiJbev, 
cog (f)av€pd TroiiqaovTes €$ dpx^js P'^XP^ TeXovs. 
A0. ^Q. (f)iX€ KAetvta, KaXdJg p,ev Xeyeis, aTOTTOV 

^ i.e. describing the special training of the members of the 
Nocturnal Council of the Laws, xii. 961 if.: this Council 
of the projected Cretan colony, corresponding to the Athenian 



[or nocturnal council 1 ; 


Clzlkias of Crete, Athenian Visitor, 
Megillcs of Sparta 

CL. True to our agreement, good sir, we have come 
all three — you and I and Megillus here — to consider 
in what terms we ought to describe that part of 
understanding which we say produces, when it so 
intends, the most excellent disposition of the human 
being for >^-isdom which is possible for man. For we 
claim that we have described all the other matters 
connected with law-giving ; but the most important 
thing for us to discover and state — what it is that 
mortal man should learn in order to be wise — this 
we have neither stated nor discovered. Let us, how- 
ever, now tr}' to make good this defect : else we 
shall practically leave incomplete the quest on which 
we all set out, with the purpose of making our sub- 
ject clear from beginning to end. 

ATH. My dear Cleinias, you are quite right, yet I 

Areopagus, was to consist of high magistrates and retired 
officials, and hold its meetings at night. The characters and 
the scene (Crete) are the same as those of the Laws. 



jxrjv aKovaeadai ere Xoyov ot/xat, /cat rwa. rpoTTOV 
ovK droTTov av. ttoXXoI yap hrj Trpocrrvxels tw ^lco 

C yiyv6p,€voi Tov avrov Xoyov (f)epovaLv, (hs ovk 
earai fxaKapLov to tcov dvdpcoTTcuv yevo9 ovh ev- 
Bai/jiov. €7Tov Srj Kal avvihe, dv aoi Sokco Kayoj 
/zer' avTcbv KaXcbs tov tolovtov Trepi Xeyeiv. ov 
(f)rjfii, elvat SvvaTov dvdpcoTTOLs pLaKapiois tc Kai 
€u8at/xocrt yeveadai, ttXtjv oXtycov /JLexpiTTep av 
t,6JH€v TOVTO Siopi^oixaL- KaXrj 8e cXttIs reAeurr^- 
aavTi Tvx^lv aTrdvTcov, c5v eveKo, tis" TrpodvpuovT 
dv ^cbv T€ COS KraAAtcrr' av t,TJv Kara SvvajjLiv /cat 
TeXevT-qaas TeXevTrjs TOiavTTjs tvxclv. Xeyoi 8 

D ovSev ao(f)6v, dAA' oTrep aTravres" "EAAt^vc? tc Kai 
^dp^apoL yi,yva)aKOfM€V Tiva Tpoirov, d>s e^ ^PXQ^ 
TO yeveadai x^XeTTov dnavTi t^axp- Trpdrrov p.ev 
TO fxeTaax^^v ttjs twv Kvovfievcov e^ecos, eTreir av 
TO yiyveadai, /cat ert to Tpe<j)ea6ai /cat TraiSeveadai, 
Sid TTOvcov fjLVpLcov TavTa yiyveadai avfnravTa, ojs 
974 cf)aiJ,€V dnavTes. /cat ;;^povos" ^pa^vs dv tls eirj 
TTpos Xoytafxov fx-q Tt^ Ta>v fioxd^jpcov, dAA' o Tra? 
dv VTToXd^oi fxeTpiov. ovros Se ax^^dv avaTTVorjV 
So/cet TTOielv Tiva /caret fxeaov tttj ^lov tov avdpojTTi- 
vov Taxv y€ firjv eTnXa^ov yrjpas ovtlvovv TTOi-qaei 
dv ixrjTTOT^ edeXrjaaL TrdAtv dva^idivai, Xoyiaapievov 
TOV ^e^iwfjbevov eavTco ^iov, oaTis firj Tvyxa.vei 
TTacSiK'qs So^Tjg {xeaTos cov. tovtcov hr] tl iroTe /xot 
TeKpLrjpiov ; on, ire^VKe TavTT) to vvv l,riTovixevov 

B TW Xoyo). l,r]TovfX€v Se Sij, Tiva TpoTvov ao<f)oi 
yevTjaopieda, ws ovarjs tivos e/caaTot? TavTT]? 
Trjs hwdpiews' rj Se <f)vyr] <f)evy€i TOTe, otov tis 

^ TL cod. Voss. : TOL Mss. 


think you are about to hear a strange statement ; 
and, in a sense, one that is not so strange either. 
For many on becoming acquainted with hfe have the 
same account to give — that the human race will not 
be blessed or happy. So follow me now and appre- 
hend if you conceive me, as well as them, to be gi\ing 
a proper account of this matter. I say it is impossible 
for men to be blessed and happy, except a few ; that 
is, so long as we are living : I limit it to that. But 
one may rightly hope to attain after death all the 
things for whose sake one may strive both in life to 
live as nobly as one can and in death to find a noble 
end.^ What I say is no subtle doctrine, but a thing 
that all of us, Greeks and foreigners alike, in some way 
perceive — that from the beginning existence is diffi- 
cult for every hve creature : first, partaking of the 
state of things conceived, then again, being born, and 
further, being reared and educated — all these pro- 
cesses involve a vast amount of toil, we all agree. 
And our time must be a short one, I do not say in the 
reckoning of the vTctched, but on any supposition 
of what is tolerable. It does seem to give just a 
breathing-space about the middle of human life : yet 
swiftly old age is upon us, and must make any of us loth 
ever to live our hfe again, when one reckons over the 
life one has lived — unless one happens to be a bundle 
of childish notions. And what, pray, is my evidence 
for this ? It is that such is the nature of the matter 
now under inquiry in our discussion. We are inquir- 
ing, you know, in what way we shall become wise, 
presuming that each of us has this power in some sort 
or other : but it evades and escapes us as soon as we 

^ The translation does not attempt to reproduce the 
alliteration of the last four words of this sentence. 



TTpos TLva (f)p6v'qaiv 'ltj tcov Xeyofievcov T€)(y6jv rj 
(f>povrjaeo}V rj rivoiv dXXcov Toiovrcov los olofxeda 
emaTTjiJicbv, cos afta? tovtcov ou8e/xta? ovarjs 
eTTtKX-qcnv prjdrjvai rrjs Trepl ravra ao<f>ias ravdpco- 
TTiva, rrjS he i/jvxT]? cr(f>6Spa TTenoiOviag /cat fxav- 
revofjievrjs, cos ovarjs avrfj Kara rtva <f)vcnv Tavrrjs, 
C TLs S kari /cat vrore /cat ircoSy ov ttolvv Svva[xevr]s 
e^evpiaKeiv . ap* ov rovro) a(f>68pa irpoaioi)^ 
rjp.a)v r) irepl ao^iav atropia /cat t,rp"r]aLS, ttXclcov 
rrjs iXmSos e/caoTO) yiyvoixevrj tcSv ocrot ev rjp,LV 
Svvarol yiyvovrat (jipovifjicos avrovs dXXovs t€ 
e^eraaat avjx^ojvojs 8ta Xoycjv ttolvtcov /cat Trdvrr] 
XeyojjLevcov ; Tavr' ovx ovrats r] ravrr] avix(f)rjaojJL€V 

KA. Hvp,(f)-qaop,€V in eAmSt croi tacos raur', cS 
J) ^€V€, TTJ fxerd aov Kara. XP^^^^ ^^ yevofMevrj, 
So^daai TTcpl avrwv CLaavdis to dXiqOecrTarov . 

A0. Tds dXXas TOLVVV, oaat eTnaTrjfjiaL fiev elari 
Xeyofxevai, ao(f)6v Se ovk airoTeXovai rov Xap,- 
^dvovrd T€ aura? /cat e)(ovra, Trpcorov hie^iTeov, 
OTTOis ravras e/C77oSa>v defievoi Tretpcofxeda eKeivas 
<ov SeofMeda TrapadeaOat re /cat Trapadefjievoi, jxav- 

Y\pcx)TOV ixev roLVVV (bv npcvrov Set dvqro) yevei, 
E 'ihaypiev d)S elai fxev avayKaLorarai ax^hov dXrjdcos 
re TTpdjTai, 6 Se eTnar-q/jLCov avrdov yiyvofievos, et 
/cat /car' dpxds eSo^e rts^ etvat TTore ao^os, ovkovv 
vvv ye oijre aocjyos etvai So^a^erat ovelSr] re tcr;^ei 
975 fiaXXov aTTO rrjs roLavrrjs eTTLarrip,rjs . ipovpbev 8r) 
at t' etcrt /cat otl Trds avrjp avrds, ax'^hov oaois 
dyojv TvpoKeirai rov BoKelv cos dpiuTOv dvSpa 
avfM^rjvaL yevofievov dv, (j>evyei Sia rds Krrjaeis 


attempt any knowledge of reputed arts or knowledges 
or any of the ordinary sciences, as we suppose them 
to be ; for none of them is worthy to be called by the 
title of the wisdom that pertains tothesehumanaffairs. 
Yet the soul firmly beheves and divines that in some 
fashion she has it, but what it is that she has, or when, 
or how, she is quite unable to discover. Is not this 
a fair picture of oiu- puzzle about ^\isdom and the 
inquiry that we have to make — a greater one than 
any of us could expect who are found able to examine 
ourselves and others intelligently and consistently 
by every kind and manner of argument ? Is the 
case not so, or shall we agree that so it is ? 

CL. We shall probably agree with you on that, my 
good sir, in the hope which in time you will surely 
give us of forming hereafter the truest opinion on 
these matters. 

ATH. Then first we must go through the other 
sciences, which are reputed as such, but do not render 
him -wise who acquires and possesses them ; in order 
that, having put them out of the way, we may try to 
bring forward those that we require, and having 
brought them forward, to learn them. 

First, therefore, let us observe that while the 
sciences which are first needs of the human race are 
about the most necessary and truly the first, yet he 
who acquires a knowledge of them, though in the 
beginning he may have been regarded as wise in some 
sort, is now not reputed vise at all, but rather incurs 
reproach by the knowledge he has got. Now we 
must mention what they are, and that almost every- 
one who makes it his aim to be thought likely to prove 
himself in the end as good a man as possible avoids 
them, in order to gain the acquirements of under- 



rrjs (f)povrjaeo}S t€ /cat eTnTr^Sevaccos . earco 817 
Trporrov fiev rj rrjs dXXr]XG(f)a'yias rcov ^cocov rjuds 
Tojv /xev, (hs 6 fivdos icTTL, TO TTapaTTOV aTTooTt^aaGa, 
Tcov Se et? TrfV voixiixov i8co8r]V Karaariqaaaa. 
IXecp 8' ■qixlv ol TTpoadev etrjadv re /cat elcnv otrives 
jjiev yap (Lv^ iXeyofiev TrpdJTOi ^aLpercoaav rj 8 ovv 

B dX(f)i,rcov re /cat dXevpojv TTOiiqaLS djjt,a /cat rpo(f)rj 
KaXr] fxev /cat dyad-q, ao(f)6v hk dvSpa reXecos ovk 
ideXTjcrei ttotc dTrepydcracrdaL- tovto yap avro, rj 
rrjs TTOLrjueois iTTiKXrjatg, tcov iroiovpLevoiV avrcov 
Sv(7X^p€i-av drrepyd^otT^ dv. ax'^^ov 8' ovhe x<^pc-S 
GVfjLTrdcrrjs yewpyla- ov yap rexyr] dAAa (^vaei Kara 
deov ndvTes <f)aiv6p,eda yrjv /JberaKex^iptadai,. /cat 
fjLTjv ouS' 7] rdjv oLKrjaeajv ye (jvw(f>rj /cat avfiTraaa 
OLKoSofiia /cat aKevcov ttovtcov dTrepyaarLKrj, x^^~ 

C /ceta re /cat r) rdJv reKroviKcov /cat TrXaariKcov /cat 
TrAe/CTt/ccSv /cat en crvfiTravrcov opydvcov napa- 
aKevTj, hrjpbco to 7Tp6acf)opov exovaa, dXX' ovk en' 
dperfj XeyofievT], /cat firjv ovS' rj avjJLTraaa drjpev- 
rtKrj, TToXXrj rrep /cat rexyiKr) yeyovvla, to ye jjieya- 
XoTT penes ovv r(o ao^cp ovk dTroSiSoiaiv . ov /xi^v 
ov8e fjiavTLKt] ye ou8' epurjvevTLKrj ro irapaTrav 
TO Xeyofxevov yap otSe fioi/ov, el 8 dXrjdes, ovk 
"Ore St^ rrjv rwv dvayKaicov opcoixev Krrjaiv 8ta 

D rexvy]? p-ev drrepyat^op^evriv , rovrwv he ovSep^iav 
ovSeva ao^ov Tvoiovaav , ro ye fxerd rovro TratSta 
Tis dv XeLTTOLTo, p,Lp,r)TiKrj p.ev ro TrXeXcrrov, dXX 
1 djj' Stallbaum : o?;/ mss. 

^ "Some" means "men," and "others" means "other 
* i.e. the first men who practised the eating of flesh. 



standing and study. So first let us take the practice 
among animate beings of eating each other, which, as 
the story goes, has made us refrain entirely from some, 
while it has settled us in the la^^•ful eating of others.'^ 
May the men of old time be gracious to us, as they are : 
for we must take our leave of whatever men were the 
first of those we were just mentioning ^ ; but at any 
rate the making of barley-meal and flour, with the 
sustenance thereof, is noble and good indeed, yet it 
is never like to produce a perfectly ^^■ise man. For this 
very name of making must produce ^ an irksomeness 
in the actual things that are made. Nor can it well 
be husbandry of land in general : for it is not by art 
but by a natural gift from Heaven, it seems, that we 
all have the earth put into our hands. Nor again is 
it the fabrication of dwellings and building in general, 
nor the production of all sorts of appliances — smiths' 
work, and the supply of carpenters', moulders', 
plaiters', and, in fine, all kinds of implements ; for this 
is of advantage to the public, but is not accounted for 
virtue. Nor again the whole practice of hunting, 
which although grown extensive and a matter of 
skilled art, gives no return of magnificence with its 
wisdom. Nor surely can it be divination or inter- 
pretation * as a whole ; for these only know what is 
said, but have not learnt whether it be true. 

x\nd now that we see that the acquisition of neces- 
saries is achieved by means of art, but that no such 
art makes any man ^\ise, there may be some diversion 
remaining after this — imitative for the most part, but 

* The word " produce " is repeated here in a strained sense 
of "declare," "indicate," or the like. The very idea of 
" making " implies a certain annoyance incompatible with 
perfect wisdom. 

* i.e. of omens, heavenly signs, etc. 

VOL. vni 2 F 433 


ovhafjbfj arrovSata. TroAAor? /xev yap opydvois fxi- 
fjLovvraL, TToXXotg 8' avrcov tcov auofxarcov ov rrdvrcDS 
€va-)(rjlxoai ixi^JbiqiiaaL, rd re Kara Xoyovs /cat fjbov- 
aav rrdaav, koI oatov ypac/)LKrj fxijrrjp, rroXXcbv Kal 
navTOLOJV TToiKLXpidrcov dTToreXovjxlvcov iv ttoXXoIs 
uypols Kal ^Tjpols yeveaiv d>v ao<f}6v ovheva els 
ovSev a'novSfj rfj picyicrrr] brjfjbtovpyovvra rj fiifir]- 
riKT] 7Tape)(erai, . 

E Hdvrcov 8' e^eipyaajxeviov ro Xoittov ^o'qdeLa 
yiyvoLT^ av fivpia fxvplots, rj jxev fieytarrj re Kai 
els TrXelara TToXe/JLtKr] KXrjdelaa, or partly iktj re^vf], 
evhoKLjxcxirdrri rrpos ;^petav, evrv)(^ias rrXeiarrjs 
Seo/xevr], fidXXov 8e avSpela Kara <f)vaLV 7) ao<j)ia 
976 BeSo/jievrj. rjv Se KaXovai jxev tarpiK-qv, ^oijOeia 
Se 7TOV Kal avrrj a-)(^eh6v ocrojv atpai ijjv^^ei Kai 
Kavpiari aKaipco Kal rrdai rots roiovrois XrjitjOvraL 
rrjv rajv l,a)a)v (f)vai,v. evSoKifiov Se ovSev rovrojv 
els ao^iav rrjv dXrjdeardrrjv ayuerpa yap Sogats 
(j)opeZrai ro7Tal,6fieva. ^orjdovs Be ttov /cai rovs 
Kv^epvqras dpia Kal rovs vavras epovpiev, Kai 
rovrcov dvSpa ao(f)6v pirjSeva ris rjpids 7TapapLvdovp.e- 
vos e^ aTTdvrojv SiayyeXXero)' ov yap av elSeirj ns 

B TTvevpiaros opyrjv ov8e </>tAtav, o TTpoacfuXes aTTaaj] 
Kv^epvrjrLKTJ. Kal pbrjv ou8' oTToaoi ^orjdol 8t/cats" 
iv rfj rod Xeyeiv /ocu^ury (f>aal yiyveaSai, pLvqpirj Kal 
rpt^rj So^Tjs TJdearL Trpoaexovres rov vovv, dXrjdeias 
8e ra)v ovrws ScKalwv eKros vrapeaipaXpLevoi. 

Aoinrj 8 en Trpos So^av GO<j>ias eari rt? aroTTOS 
SvvapiLS, TJv <f)vaiv av ol ttoXXoI pidXXov t] ao^iav 
ovopidaeiav, rore orav rivd ris avvvofj paSlcDS pbev 



in no way serious. For they imitate with many 
instruments, and with many imitative acts, not 
altogether seemly, of their very bodies, in perform- 
ances both of speech and of every Muse, and in those 
whereof painting is mother, and whereby many and 
most various designs are elaborated in many sorts, 
moist and dry ; and though a man ply his craft in 
these with the greatest zeal, in nothing is he rendered 
^vise by imitation. 

And when all these have been performed, there 
may yet remain assistance, in countless forms and 
countless cases : the greatest and most useful is 
called warfare, the art of generalship ; most glorified 
in time of need, requiring most good fortune, and 
assigned rather to a natural valour than to wisdom. 
And that which they call medicine is likewise, of 
course, an assistance in almost every case towards 
things of which animal nature is deprived by seasons 
of untimely cold and heat and all such \isitations. 
But none of these is of high repute for the truest 
wisdom : for they are borne along by opinion, as in- 
accurate matter of conjecture. We may, I suppose, 
speak of pilots and sailors alike as giving assistance : 
yet you shall not report, to appease us, a single ^\ise 
man from amongst them all ; for a man cannot know 
the ^vTath or amity of the wind, a desirable thing 
for all piloting. Nor again all those who say they can 
give assistance in law suits by their powers of speech, 
men who by memory and exercise of opinion pay 
attention to human character, but are far astray from 
the truth of what is really just. 

There still remains, as a claimant to the name of 
wisdom, a certain strange power, which most people 
would call a natural gift rather than wisdom, appear- 



o ri TTcp dv fiavddvr) fxavddvovra, fidXa Se ttoXXol 
C /cat da(f)aXa>s fxvqfxovevovra, orav re ro 7Tp6a(f)opov 
eKdcrra) Si,afji,VT]fMOV€vr] tls, o tl yiyvo^xevov dv 
TTpeTTOL, rovTO Se ra^v ^pd' ravra yap dnavra ol 
fiev (f)V(nv, OL 8e ao(f}Lav, ol Se dyp^tVotai/ drjuovai 
(f)va€cos' (JO(f)6v Se ovrcos ovSevl tovtojv ovSels tojv 
ifxcfipovcov edeX'qaeL irork KaXelv. 

'AAAo. p,rjv Set (f)avrjvaL ye riva eTTLarrjpirjv, tjv 

exoiv (TO(f)6s yiyvoLT dv 6 ao(f)6s ovrois cuv /cat 

p,T] p,6vov So^a^o/xevo? . iScofiev Sij. p^oAeTrai fiev 

yap Xoycp TravrdTracrtv eTn-^eipovpiev, erepav irdpe^ 

D rcjv elp-qixevcov evpeZv, rj ao<f>La fxev XeyoLr' dv 

ovTCOs re /cat et/corcos", o Se Xa^cov ovre ^dvavcros 

oijT* -qXidiog ecrrai, ao<f)6s Se /cat dyados St' avrrjv 

TToXtTrjs [re] /cat dpxcov /cat dp^ofievos ei'St/cco? 

[eorai]^ TToXeojs djxa /cat e/xjLteA?y?. KarlScoixsv St) 

ravrrjv Trpwrrjv, rt? ttot' e/c ttjs dvdpcomvrjs 

(f)va€OJS eTTKTT'qiJbri /xta hte^eXOovaa •^ /x?) rrapa- 

yevofievT] rcuv vvv Trapovacov dvo-qrorarov dv /cat 

d^poveararov Trapdaxpvro t,cpov to rcbv avdpcJTTCov. 

E ov Srj TovTo ye ttovv x'^XeTTov to /cartSetv. p^ia yap 

COS" eiTTeZv TTpos fiiav r^ tov dpt-dfiov Sovaa navTi 

TU) dv7]Tcx) yevei tovt dv Spdcreiev deov S' avTov 

fjidXXov 7] TLva TV^^jV 'qyovfiaL Sovra rjfiXv aa)t,eiv 

Tjfjbds. ov Se deov riyov/JLai, (jypd^etv XPV> k^^'^^P 

OTOTTOV ovTa, /Cat TTO)? ovK aTOTTOV av' TTibs yap ro 

977 dyadcov a'lTiov rjp.LV avp,7TdvTa>v ov /cat tov ttoXv 

pbeyioTOV, ttjs cfipovqueoj^, aLTLOv rjyeZadaL Set 

yeyovei'at; rtVa Si) /cat aep^vvvoiv Trore Xeycx) deov, 

1 re et iarai seel. Stallbaum. 

^ Literally, " in tune," and hence " fitting in gracefully," 

" behaving with good taste," etc. 



ing when one perceives someone learning this or that 
lesson with ease, or remembering a great many things 
seeiurely ; or when one recalls what is suitable to each 
person, what should properly be done, and does it 
quickly. Some people ^vill describe all this as nature, 
others as wisdom, and others as a natural readiness of 
mind : but no sensible person will ever call a man 
really wise for any of these gifts. 

But surely there must be found some science, the 
possession of which ^vill cause the wisdom of him who 
is really >vise and not wise merely in men's opinion. 
Well, let us see : for in this laborious discussion we 
are trying our hardest to find some other science, 
apart from those we have mentioned, which can 
really and reasonably be termed wisdom ; such an 
acquirement as will not make one a mean and ^^"itless 
drudge, but vriW enable one to be a wise and good 
citizen, at once a just ruler and subject of his city, 
and decorous.^ So let us examine this one first, and 
see what single science it is of those that we now have 
which, by remoxing itself or being absent from human 
nature, must render mankind the most thoughtless 
and senseless of creatures. Well, there is no great 
difficulty in making that out. For if there is one 
more than another, so to speak, which -vnll do this, 
it is the science which gave number to the whole 
race of mortals ; and I beUeve God rather than some 
chance gave it to us, and so preserves us. And I 
must explain who it is that I beUeve to be God, though 
he be a strange one, and somehow not strange either: 
for why should we not beheve the cause of all the good 
things that are ours to have been the cause also of 
what is far the greatest, understanding ? And who 
is it that I magnify with the name of God, MegiUus 



CO MeyiAAe re /cat KAetvta; ax^Sov Ovpavov, ov 
/cat Si/catdraTor, to? crvfiTravres dXXoi haljxoves 
aju.a /cat deoi, n/jidv re /cat evx^adaL Stacfiepovrcos 
avrtp. TO Se /cat rcbv dXXcov a'iriov dyadoJv 
TTavrajv rj/jitv avrov yeyovevac iravres dv ofMoXoyoZfxev • 
Sowai Se djjLa /cat dpidp.6v rjp,€Ls ye ovrcos avrov 
^ajxev, ert Se /cat Scoaetv, idv ns deXr] avv- 

B aKoXovdeZv. idv ydp ltj ns iirl Oecopiav opdrjv rr]v 
rovSe, etre Koafiov etVe "OXvfnrov eire Ovpavov iv 
'^Sovfj rep XiyeiVy Xeydrcv /xeV, aKoXovdelroj Se', 
OTTj] TTOLKiXXojv avrov /cat rd iv avrw arpe(f)cov 
darpa Tracra? Ste^'oSous" cSpa? re /cat rpo^r]v Trdat 
irapexerai. /cat tt)v dXXrjv Se ow ^poviqaiv, cos 
(f>alp,ev dv, avv dpidpLO) iravri, /cat rdAA' dyaOd- 
rovro Se pbeyiarov, idv ris r7]v dptOfxcov avrov 
Boaiv Se^dpuevos eVe^e'A^Tj Trdaav rrjv Trepiohov. 
"Ert Se (jpLLKpov irraveXdovres TTCog rols Adyot? 

C dvapivr]adcopi€V, on /cat /xaA' opdcog ivoijcrapbev, cos, 

etTre/j dpiOp^ov iK rrjs dv6pco7TLV7]s cfivcrecos i^iXoip^ev , 

ovK dv TTore rt (f)p6v(,p,OL yevoipieda. ov ydp dv eVi 

TTore ipvxyj rovrov rov t,a)ov Trdaav dperrjv Xd^oi 

ax^hov, drov Xoyos aTretTy* t,a)Ov Se, o rt p-q yiyvu)- 

cr/cot Suo /cat r/ata yitTjSe -nepirrov p,r)Be dpriov, 

dyvooL Se ro irapaTrav api6p,6v, ovk dv irore St- 

Sdvat Adyov e;!^ot Trepi (Lv aladrjaeis /cat piV7]p,as 

[ej^oi]^ pLovov e'irj KeKrrjpbivov rrjv Se dXXrjv dper'QV, 

D dvSpeiav /cat aco^poavvrjv, ovhev dTTOKCoXvei- crre- 

p6pL€vos Se aATj^ou? Adyoy ao(f)6s ovk dv rrore 

yivoiro, orco Se cro(f>La pirj Trpoaeirj, rrdcrrjs dperrjs 

^ exoi om. vulg. 

^ Apparently a metaphor from astronomy, meaning " the 
prescribed or proper course of study " ; cf. Plato, Rep. 407 e. 



and Cleinias ? Merely Heaven, which it is most our 
duty to honour and pray to especially, as do all other 
spirits and gods. That it has been the cause of all the 
other good things we have, we shall all admit ; that it 
like^vise gave us number we do really say, and that 
it \vi\\ give us this hereafter, if we ^^^ll but follow its 
lead. For if one enters on the right theor}' about it, 
whether one be pleased to call it World-order or 
Olvmpus or Heaven — let one call it this or that, but 
follow where, in bespangling itself and turning the 
stars that it contains, it produces all their courses and 
the seasons and food for all. And thence, accord- 
ingly, we have understanding in general, we may say, 
and there>A'ith all number, and all other good things : 
but the greatest of these is when, after receiving its 
gift of numbers, one has covered the whole circuit .^ 

Moreover, let us turn back some little way in our 
discussion and recall how entirely right we were in 
conceiving that if we should deprive human nature 
of number we should never attain to any under- 
standing. For then the soul of that creature which 
could not tell^ things would never any more be able, 
one mav say, to attain \irtue in general ; and the 
creature that did not know two and three, or odd or 
even, and was completely ignorant of number, could 
never clearly tell of things about which it had 
only acquired sensations and memories. From 
the attainment of ordinary virtue — courage and 
temperance — it is certainly not debarred : but if a 
man is deprived of true telling he can never become 
wise, and he who has not the acquirement of ^\•isdom 

* There is a curious play here on the two meanings of 
X670S — "reckoning," and "description." {€'/. the like 
English meanings of " tale " or " account.") 



ro jxeyicrTOV fxlpos, ovk av en reXecos ayados 
yevofxevos evbalficov rrore yevoiro. ovrcos dpidfjbov 
jxep avayKrj Trdaa VTTorideadai' Stort Se rovro 
dvayKT], Adyo? ert TrXeliov Trdvrojv ytyvotr av rojv 
elprjixevojv . dXXd /cai o vvv opdcog prjOrjcreraL, 
on /cat TO, TcJiJv dXXcov re^vcov Xeyofxeva, d vvv St] 
hiiqXdojxev ioJvres elvac Trdaas to.? Ti^vas, ovhe 
E TOUTCor tv ovhev fxivei, Trdvra 8 aTToAetTrerat to 
TTapaTTav, orav dpid'firjnKriv ns dveXrj. 

A6^€L€ 8' dv tacDj^ ns ^pax^cuv evcKa dpidp,ov 
Seiadai ro rdjv dvdpcjTTCxiV yivog, els ras" rexvas 
drTo^Xdi/jas' Kairoi [xdya pLev Kal rovro ' el he tls 
iSoi ro Oelov rrjs yeveaecos Kal ro dvrjrov, ev cp /cat 
TO Oeoae^es yvo}pLadriaerai /cat o^ dpidpios ovrwg, 
978 OVK dv en Trds dv ns yvoirj avfnravra dpidpiov, 
oarjs Tjpuv hwdpLccos aXnos dv etr) avyytyvopievos' 
eirel Kal rd Kara piovGLKrjv rrdaav Siapidpiovpievojv 
KLv-qcreo)? re Kal (f)66yycx)v hrjXov on Set* /cat ro 
pLeyiarov, dyaddJv d)s Trdvnov atnov on he /ca/ccuv 
ovhevos, ev rovro yvojcrreov, o Kal rdxct yevoir^ 
dv. dXX rj ax^hov dXoyicrTos re /cat draKros d- 
aXrjP'OiV re Kal dppvdpLOS dvapixoarog re (f)opd, 
/cat ndvO^ oiroaa /ca/cou KeKOCvcovTjKe nvos, em- 
B XeXenrraL Travros dptdp,ov, Kal Set rov9^ ovroi Sia- 
voeZodai rdv pueXXovra evhaipiova reXevr-qaeiv Kal 
TO ye hr] hiKaLov re Kal dyadov /cat KaXdv Kal 
Trdvra rd roiavra ovhels -nore p,r] yiyvcoaKcov , 

^ laws Theo : 'iKavCis mss. 
* 6 Theo: om. mss. 



— the greatest part of virtue as a whole — can no more 
achieve the perfect goodness which may make him 
happy. Thus it is absolutely necessary to postulate 
number ; and why this is necessary can be sho^vn by 
a still fuller argument than any that has been 
advanced. But here is one that ^nll be particularly 
correct — that of the properties of the other arts, 
which we recounted just now in granting the exist- 
ence of all the arts, not a single one can remain, but 
all of them are utterly defective, when once you 
remove numeration. 

And one may judge, perhaps, for brevity's sake 
how the human race needs number, by glancing at 
the arts — and yet that too is a great matter — but if 
you note the divinity of birth, and its mortahty, in 
which awe of the divine must be acknowledged, and 
real number,^ it is not anybody who can tell how great 
is the power which we owe to the accompaniment of 
niunber as a whole — for it is clear that everj'tliing in 
music needs a distinct numeration of movement and 
notes — and above all, how it is the cause of all good 
things ; and that it is the cause of no e\il thing is a 
point that must be well understood, as it may be 
quickly enough. Nay, the motion that we may 
call unreasoned and unordered, lacking shape and 
rhythm and harmony, and everything that has a 
share of some evil, is deficient in nxmiber altogether ; 
and in this light must the matter be regarded by him 
who means to end his hfe in happiness. And no one 
who does not know the just, the good, the honour- 
able and all the rest of such qualities, with a hold on 

^ i.e. our birth and death are alike under divine influence, 
and this means that they are governed by number — a 
Pythagorean argument. 



aXr)9ovs ho^rjs €7nXa^6p.€vos , Stapt^/^T^crerat Trpo? 
TO eavTov re Koi erepov Trelaat to Trapdrrav. 

"\copL€v Srj OKeifjopievoL irpos rovr' avro, ttcos 
efiddoixev dpidfieiv. cfiepe' to yap ev Srj /cat Svo 
yeyove TTodev rjixlv oiur evvoi^aai, (f>VG(,v TavTr]v 

Q kyovatv €K rod ttovtos Trpos to SvvaTovs evvoelv 
ctvaL; TToXXols Se dXXois av twv ^(ocjdv oi58' els 
avTO Tovd' rj (f)vaig rrapayeyovev , ojcrre p,adeLV 
SwaTols elvat rrapd tov Trarpos dpiOp^elv, Trapd S' 
Tjpuv TOVT avTo TTpdJTOv ivwKLdev 6 dcos, COOTe 
LKavols elvai SeiKVvp,evov avvvoelv, enetT^ eSei^e 
Kal SeLKvvaiv cbv tl KdXXiov ev evos av tis dedaaiTO 
ttXtjv to Trjs TjjjLepas yevos, etra els ro ttjs vvktos 
eXdoi ixepos excov oipLv, odev eTepov Trdv avTw 

D (f>aivoiT^ av; Kai iXiTTOjv hr] TavTa aura [wra 
fi-q 7Tavr]Tai] iroXXas fiev vvKTas, 77oAAas' Se rj/xepas 
[dsY ovpavos, ovheiTOTe TraveTai hthdoKoyv dv- 
dpwTTOvs ev T€ /cat Svo, TTplv dv /cat o SvafiaOe- 
OTaTOS iKavcbs fiddrj dpidjxeZv cLs yap /cat r/ata /cat 
reTrapa /cat TToXXd, eKaaros rjixdjv eTTivorjaeiev dv 
opwv TavTa. /cat e/c tovtcov ev eTTolrjcre ttjv 
aeX-^vrjv 6 deds dTrepyaadpievos , rj Tore fxev fiei^cov 
(f)aLvoiJiev'q , TOTe S' eXdrrajv, Sie^rjXdev aAArji^ del 

E (fialvovaa -qfiepav, P'^XP'' TT^VTeKalSeKa r)p,epcov Kal 
VVKTCJV avTTj 8' CCTTt TTeploSos, el ^ovXeTal tls tov 
kvkXov eva oXov els ev Tidevai, uicne d>s enos 
elnetv /cat to Svap^adeoraTov dv p^aOelv l,ipov, ots 
TTapehcjKe (j)vaLv 6 deds tov hvvaTols elvai p^avddvetv. 

^ ivTO, fiTi irairqTai et Ss secl. Ast. 

^ The meaning obviously required — " shape " or " phase " 
— cannot be extracted from ijfxepav, which is probably a 
copyist's error for ideaf. 



true opinion, will number them off so as fully to per- 
suade both himself and his neighbour. 

Now let us go on to inquire into the actual question 
of how we learnt to count in numbers. Tell me, 
whence have we got the conception of one and two, 
a natural gift that we have from the All to enable 
us to conceive of their existence ? Then again, many 
other Hving creatures are not endowed by nature even 
to the actual point of being able to learn from their 
father to count ; whereas in us, in the first place, God 
implanted this very conception, so that we might be 
equal to comprehending it when shown to us, and in 
the second place, he showed it and shows it. Among 
such things, what one more singularly beautiful can 
a man behold than the world of day ? Then he 
comes to the pro\ince of night, and views it ; and 
there quite another sight lies before him. And so 
the heaven, revolving these very objects for many 
nights and many days, never ceases to teach men one 
and two, until even the most unintelligent have learnt 
sufficiently to number ; for that there are also three 
and four and many, each of us must further conceive 
on seeing those objects. And God nnade one thing 
that he \\Tought from them, the moon, which shows 
herself at one time larger, at another smaller, and 
runs her course, showing ever a new shape,^ until 
fifteen days and nights are passed : this is her 
circuit, if one chooses to sum her orbit, as one and 
entire, in one ^ ; so that, we may say, even the least 
intelligent creature must learn it, among those on 
whom God has bestowed the natural gift of being 

* This seems to mean that the fifteen days from the new 
moon to the full moon give the basis for summing her whole 
thirty days' course — fifteen to the full, and fifteen back. 



/cai fJ'^XP'' H'^^ rovTcov re /cat iv tovtols avfnrav to 
ovvarov Tcbv ^wojv /xaiXa dpidfxrjTLKov yeyove, to 
979 Kad ev avro okottovv. to 8e irpos aXXiqXa iravra 
apid/jiov aet Xoyi^eadai, So/cco fiev pieit,ovos eveKa, 
Kat TovTov 8e aeXijvrjv, Kadairep emopjev, av^avo- 
ixevrjv /cat (j)divovaav ifiTTOL-rjcras , p,rjvas irpos rov 
iviavTov cruveGTrjcraro , Kal Trdvra dpidpLov Trpos 
dpidfMov rjp^aro avvopdv eySai/iovt rvxj]. Bid Se 
ravd^ rjjjuv Kaprroi re /cat iyKVfiojv rj yrj yeyovev, 
c5ot' etvat rpo(f)rjV Trdai rol? t^cpois, dve/xcov re /cat 
verdjv yiyvopLevcov ovk i^aicricuv oj)8e d/xerpcov dW 
B €t Tt napd ravra yiyverai Trpos ro <f>Xavpov, ov 
rrjv Oeiav aXXd rrjv dvdpojTTLvrjv alridadai XPV 
<j>vaLV, OVK iv Slkj] Siavepiovaav rov avriov ^lov. 
rjjjuv 8' ovv ^rjrovaL Trepl v6p,a>v ax^^ov eho^e rd 
ixev aAAa pdhid t' etvat yvcjvai rd jSeArtora dvOpco- 
TTOts, /cat 77a? dv LKavos yiyveadai /cat avvelvai 
rd Xeyopbeva /cat TToielv, el yvoLTj, ri ttot' eanv o 
avjji(f)epeLV et/co? /cat rt ro p,7) (jv[x<^epov eSo^e Srj 
/cat vvv en 8o/c€t ra fiev dXXa eTnrrjSevpiara Trdvra 
C ov a^ohpa p^aAeTTO, etvat, ro he riva rpoTTOV XPV 
yiyveadai ;^p7^aTous" dvdpioTTOvs TrayxdXenov . Kal 
rd fj,ev dXXa av Trdvra Krdadai xp^^crTd, ro XeyopLevov 
[re]/ /cat Svvarov Kal ov ;)(;aAe7rdi/, ovaiav re oar)v 
8et /cat piTj Set, /cat aajp^a otov re Set Kal fiTj' Kal 
ifjvx'^v on pLev dyadrjv 8et, arvyxcopel Trdg rravri, ro 
8' dvnva rpoTTOV dyad-qv, on piev av hiKaiav Kal 
adii^pova /cat dvhpeiav, Kat ravra, on 8e ao(j)rjV, 

^ re ova, Bekker. 


able to learn. Within certain limits, and in certain 
cases, every creature so enabled has been made fully 
apt for numeration, — when it considers any unit in 
itself. But as to reckoning number generally in the 
relations of things to each other, I think that God, if 
not for a greater reason, to this end interposed, as we 
mentioned, the waxing and waning of the moon, and 
arranged the months to make up the year, and all 
things began to comprehend number in relation to 
number by a happy fortune. Hence it is that we 
have fruits and the teeming of the earth, so that there 
may be food for all creatures, Mith no inordinate or 
immoderate occurrences of A^nds and rains : but if 
in spite of this something does occur in an evil way, 
we ought not to charge it upon the divine but upon 
the human nature, for not disposing our own hves 

Now in our inquiry about laws, you know we 
decided that all other things that are best for 
men are easy to discover, and that everyone *may 
become competent both to understand and to per- 
form what he is told, if he discovers what is that 
which is likely to profit him, and what is not profit- 
able : well, we decided, and we are still of the same 
mind, that all other studies are not very difficult, but 
that this of learning in what way we should become 
good men is one of the utmost difficulty. Everything 
else, again, that is good, as they say, is both possible 
and not difficult to acquire, and the amount of pro- 
perty that is wanted or not wanted, and the kind of 
body that is wanted or not : everyone agrees that a 
good soul is wanted, and agrees, moreover, as to the 
manner of its goodness, that for this again it must be 
just and temperate and brave ; but whereas everyone 



<pr]al fiev Tva? Selv, rjvriva 8e ao(f)i,av, cos aprt 
D hieXrjXvda^ev , ovhels ovhevl ro Trapdrrav ert avv- 
oixoXoyeZ rcov ttoXXwv. vvv ovv Stj napa Trdaas 
rag TTpoadev ao^ias ov <f>avXr]v rivd dvevpiaKopiev 
et? aura ye ravra, ro Sokclv ao<f)6v elvai rov ye 
jxefJiadrjKOTa dnep /cat SteXrjXvOaixev el 8' ecrri 
ao(j)6s 6 Taur' eTnariqixcov /cat dyados, rovrov 87) 
TTepL Xoyov Set Xa^elv. 

KA. 'O. ^eve, CO? eiKOTcos elves, on Tvepl fieydXcuv 
pueydXa eirix^ipeZs (f)pdl^eiv. 
E A0. Ov ydp apuKpd, o) KXeivia' to 8e ;!^aAe7rcu- 
repov, OTL TTavrdTTaat kul iravrajs dXrjdTJ. 

KA. Jj(f)6Spa ye, c5 ^eVe* dXX' ofiws p,rj aTTOKdfJbrjs 
Xeyoyv o (fyfjs. 

A0. Nat, jLt7y8e cr^co roivvv aKovovre. 

KA.- TauT ecrrat* /cat UTrep dp,^OLV eyoj crot 
(f)pdi^(jo . 
980 A0. KaAcD?. i^ dpxrjs8rj prjreov dvdyKTj^ TTpoJTOv, 
cos (f>aiverat, /zaAiora /xev ar, et Swdfieda evl 
Xa^elv 6v6p,aTL, ris ecrriv rjv otofieda ao(f)iav elvai, 
Tovro 8' et a(f)6Spa dSwarovfiev , to SevTepov, rives 
elal TTore /cat oTrdcrat rives, ds res Xa^cov ao(f)6s dv 
etrj Kara rov rjfierepov /jlvOov. 

KA. AeyoLs dv. 

A0. To Srj fxerd rovro avepLeaiqrov roi vofModerrj 
ro kolXXlov rcov irporepov elprjjjievcov Trepl decov /cat 
djJLeivov dTTeiKdt,ovri Xeyeiv, olov 7rat8ta KoXfj 

^ dvdyKri Schneider : dudyKri mss. 


says it must be wise, no one any longer agrees at 
all \Aith anyone else, in most cases — we have just 
now explained — as to what its >\isdom should be. So 
now we are discovering, besides all those former 
kinds, a ^^^sdom of no mean worth for this very 
purpose of sho\\'ing how he is wise who has 
learnt the things that we have explained. And 
if he is \nse who has knowledge of these things 
and is good at them, we must now take account 
of him. 

CL. Good sir, how properly you said that you are 
undertaking to express great thoughts on great 
subjects ! 

ATH. Yes, for they are not small, Cleinias : but 
what is more difficult is to show that they are entirely 
and in every sense true. 

CL. Very much so, good sir : but still, do not weary 
of the task of stating your views. 

ATH. I viiW not, and therefore you two must not 
weary either of hstening to me. 

CL. Agreed : I give you my word for us both. 

ATH. Thank you. To begin vvith, then, we must 
necessarily state first, it would seem — best of all, in a 
single word, if we are able so to put it — what is that 
which we suppose to be wisdom ; but if we are utterly 
unable to do this, we must say in the second place 
what and how many kinds of it there are that a man 
must have acquired, if he is to be \\ise according to 
our story. 

CL. Pray speak on. 

ATH. And as to the next step, it will be no offence 
in the lawgiver that he speaks finer things than have 
been previously said about the gods, and uses higher 
terms of portrayal, making as it were a noble sport 



B xpcu/xevoj /cat TifjbwvrL deovs, vixvois re /cat euSai- 
/xovia yepaipovri hiayeiv rov avrov ^iov. 

KA. 'H /caAcDs", cu ^ive, Aeyei?. ei yap crot 
TOVTO Te'Ao? et7^ toSj/ vofMUjv, deovs TTpoaTraiaavrL 
Kadapdirepov re Siayayovrt rov ^iov rrjs d/xa 
reXevTTJs dplarTjs t€ /cat KaXXlcrrrjs rvx^tv. 

A0. Ilajs" ovv, CO KAetvta, Xeyofiev; . -^ So/cet 
rovs deovg vfjivovvres a^ohpa rt/icD/xei', eup^o/xei^ot 
ra KaXXiara /cat dptara irepl avr(x)v einivai Xeyeiv 
rjfjuv; ovTcos 7} TrcD? Xeyeis; 
C KA. ©aujaaoTa)? /Mev ow ourcos". aAA', c5 8at- 
fMovte, TTiarevaas rols deois ev)(ov re /cat Aeye rov 
€7Tiovra aoi Xoyov rdjv KoXiov Trepl rovs deovs re 
/cat TO.? deds. 

A0. Ecrrat raura, dv avros 6 Oeos 'qpZv vcf)- 
TjyrjraL. avvevxov [xovov. 

KA. Aeyot? dv ro jjLerd rovro. 

A0. Qeoyoviav tolvvv /cat t,ipoyoviav dvayKoiov , 

d)s eot/ce, TTpdJTov /xot, /ca/ccD? d7^et/cacra^^6^>^' tcov 

enTTpoadev, ^eXriov dneLKacrat Kara rov ep,Trpoadev 

Xoyov, dvaXa^ovra ov npos rovs dae^eXs im- 

D Kex^l'PT^xa Xeycov,^ (f^pd^ojv d)s elal deol eTTLfieXov- 

fievot Tvdvrcov, afiiKpcov /cat fX€i,l,6vwv, /cat axeSov 

aTTapaf-ivd-QroL rdJv Trepi ra St/caia eicrt Trpdyfiara — 

et Srj jjiefjivqade ye, d) KAetvta* eXd^ere fiev yap 8rj 

/cat VTToyivrjfxara' /cat yap -qv rd prjOevra rore /cat 

[idXa dXyjOfj' roSe Se avrd)V rjv ro fieyicrrov, on 

TTpea^vrepov eLrj 4'^Xl crd)p,aros aVacra Travros' 

^ X^7w;' Euseb. : \6yovi mss. 

^ i.e. the statement made in Laws x., on the existence of the 
gods, and the reverence due to them. 


and honouring the gods, mth high tribute of his 
hymns and affluence throughout the period of liis 
own Hfe. 

CL. Well spoken, indeed, good sir. Yes, may you 
have this consummation of your laws, after making 
fine sport in praising the gods and having passed a 
purer hfe, to find thereby the best and fairest end ! 

ATH. Then how, Cleinias, do we state it ? Do we 
honour the gods, think you, to the utmost with our 
hymns, praying that we may be moved to speak the 
fairest and best things about them ? Do you state 
it so, or how ? 

CL. Nay, absolutely so. Now, my excellent friend, 
pray to the gods with confidence, and utter the fine 
specimen of a speech that you are moved to make 
about the gods and goddesses. 

ATH. It shall be done, if the god himself will be 
our guide. Do but join in my prayer. 

CL. Speak what follows next. 

ATH. It is necessary, then, it seems, that I should 
first portray in better terms, according to our pre\-ious 
statement, the generation of gods and of h\-ing 
creatures, which has been ill portrayed by those 
before us ; I must resume the statement which I have 
attempted in speaking against the impious,^ declaring 
that there are gods who have a care for all things, 
small and greater, and who are well-nigh inexorable 
in what relates to the justice of things : that is, if 
you remember, Cleinias ; for you did take memor- 
anda ^ besides, and indeed what then was spoken was 
very true. And the most important part of it was 
that every soul was senior to each body ^ : do you 

* There is no hint of this in the Laws. 
» Cf. Laws X. 893-6. 

VOL. VIII 2 G 449 


dpa ixeixvrjade ; -^ Trdvrcos ttov tovto ye; o yap 
dfjieivov /cat TraXaiorepov /cat deoeihearepov, Tndavov 
■ E oTt Tou veov /cat vecorepov /cat aTipiorepov, Travraxfj 
re ap)(ov ap^ofievov TTpea^vrepov /cat ayov ayo/xeVou 
TTOvr-Q. Xd^cxjfiev 8r] tovto ye, cu? ^v)(rj rrpea- 
^vrepov ioTTi crcofxaTos' et 8' €;^ei rovro ovtoj, to 
981 ye irpayrov rjfilv tov TrpcoTov rrjs yevecreo)? TTidavio- 
repov av elrj ax^^ov inrrjpyp^evov /cat dcbjjiev hrj 
rrjv o-pxrjv rrjs dpxV^ evax'QP'OviaTepov e';)(etP', /cat 
TcDv p^eyicrrcov ao(f)ias Trepl decov yeveaecos opdorara 
eTTL^aiveiv rjp.ds. 

KA. "EcTTco ravra els SvvapbLV Aeyo/xeva. 

A0. Oepe S-q, i,a)6v ye dXrjdearaTa Xeyeodai 
Kara (f>vaLv (f)iop,ev rovro ye, orav p,ia avveXdovaa 
avaraats 4'^Xl^ '^^'' orcofiaro? dnoreKT) fxiav ixop^rjv ; 

KA. ^Opdcos. 
B A0. ZjWOv p.ev Srj ro roiovrov /caAetrat 8t/catd- 

KA. Nat. 

A0. Srepea 8e acopLara Xeyeadat XPV '^^'^^ '^ov 
eiKora Xoyov Trevre, i^ cov /caAAtora /cat dpiard res 
av TrXarroi, ro 8e aAAo yevos d-Trav ^x^i p,op(f)r)v 
pbiav ov yap eariv aaojpLarov 6 ri t' aAAo ytyt'otr' 
av /cat xpd^'H'^ ovSev ovSap,cos ovheTTor' exov, TrXrjV 
ro deiorarov ovrcos ifjvx'^S yevos. rovro 8' eort 
ax^Sov (S p,6v(x) irXdrreiv /cat Srjp^LovpyeZv TrpocrfjKei, 
C croj^art 8e', o Xeyoj-^ev, TrXdrreaOai /cat yiyveadat 

^ i.e. the elements fire, water, air, earth, and ether. Plato 
{Tim. 40 A, 81 e) does not allow ether as one of the elements : 
our author includes it, because he wishes to make it the 
source of daifioves, or spirits that come midway between gods 
and men in the scale of existence ; cf. 984 b, e. 

^ i e. the generality of things that have come to be have 


remember ? Or in any case, surely, this must be so ? 
For that which is better and more ancient and more 
godhke is credibly so in comparison with the young, 
the junior, and the less emancipated ; and altogether, 
a thing governing is senior to a thing governed, and 
the driver every way senior to the driven. So much, 
then, let us conclude — that soul is senior to bodv ; 
and if this is the case, what came first in that which 
first was born \sill more credibly seem almost to have 
been original. So let us take it that the beginning 
of the beginning is more august in state, and that we 
are most correctly entering upon wisdom in the 
greatest matters relating to the generation of the 

CL. Let this be so, as far as we can state it. 
ATH. Come then, shall we say that a h\ing creature 
is most truly described by its nature, as a case of one 
combination of soul and body so uniting as to beget 
one shape ? 
ex. Correct. 

ATH. And such a thing is most justly called a living 
creature ? 
CL. Yes. 

ATH. On the most likely account there are to be 
reckoned five sohd bodies,^ from which one might 
fashion things fairest and best ; but all the rest of 
creation has a single shape, ^ for there is nothing 
that could come to be without a body and never 
possessing any colour at all, except only that really 
most di\ine creature, the soul. And this alone, one 
may say, has the business of fashioning and manu- 
facturing, whereas the body, as we call it, has that 

assumed a unity of shape resulting from the afore-mentioned 
combination of soul and body. 



Kai opdaOai' rco Be — Xeyioficv ttolXlv ov yap aTra^ 
prjreov — aoparco re eivat Kal yiyvcoaKovn votjto) 
re, fJLvqfiTjg fieTaXa^ovri Xoyiayiov re iv TrepLrrais 
re /cat apriaLs a/xa {xera^oXals . rrevre ovv ovrcov 
Tcov aojixarcDV rrvp xprj (f)avaL Kal vSojp etvai /cat 
rpLTov aepa, reraprov Se yrjv, 7rep,7TTov 8e aWepa' 
Tovrcov 8' iv riyejxoviaLs e/caorov t,a>ov ttoXv /cat 
vavToSaTTOV aTroreXeladaL. fiadelv Se /ca^' ev cSS' 

D eart XP^^^- y^i'Vov p.ev ridayp^ev to TrpaJrov rjfxlv 
ev, TTOLvras pikv dvdpcoTTOVS, Trdvra Se ocra 7roAu77oSa 
/cat a77oSa, /cat ocra TTopevaLjJia /cat oaa p,6vip,a, 
StetAi^jufieVa pit,aLS' to Se ev auroy rdSe voixit,eLv 
Set, CO? TTcii^a /xei/ e^ aTravTcov rayr' eart to))/ 
yevoiv, to Se ttoXv rovrov yrjs icrrl /cat rfjs are pep, - 
vta? (f)vaecos. dXXo Se ;)(pT^ C4*ov yevos delvai 
Sevrepov yiyvopievov a/xa /cat Bwarov opdadai. 
TO yap TrAetOTOV TTvpos e^ei, e^ei p,rjv yrjs re /cat 

E de'pos", e;!^et Se /cat drravrcov rcov dXXojv ^paxea 
p-epn), Sto St) ^oia re e^ avrcov TravroBaTrd yiy- 
veodai XPV ^ctvat /cat opcop-eva, vop^iaai Se Si) Set 
TraAtv rd Kar' ovpavov ^cocov yevq, o Srj ndv XPV 
(f)dvaL deZov yevos darpa>v yeyovevai, (jcop,aros uev 
rvxdv KaXXiarov, ^'^XV^ ^^ evhaipLOveardrrjS re 
Kal dpiarrjs. hvolv Se auTot? p-oipcov rrjv erepav 
Xpy] B6^7] /xeTaStSovat o';^eSdp'- •^ ydp dvojXedpov re 
82 /cat dddvarov eKaarov avrcbv elvat Kal deZov rd 
rrapaTTav e^ dTrdcrrjs dvdyKT]s, rj rwa p,aKpalcova 
^Lov exeiv iKavdv eKaarco ^co-qs, '^s ovSev re irXeiovos 
dv rrpoaheZodai, TTore. 

No'qcrojp.ev ovv Trpcorov, o Xeyop^ev, hvo rd roiavra 

^ i.e., apparently, if he has mathematical skill added to the 
power of reflection. 



of being fashioned and produced and seen. But 
the other — let us repeat it, for not once only be it 
said — has to be in\isible even to the inquiring, and 
merely thought, if he has got a share of memory and 
reckoning by both odd and even variations.^ The 
bodies, then, being five, Me must name them as fire, 
water, and thirdly air, earth fourth, and ether fifth ; 
and by predominance of these are each of the many 
varieties of creatures perfected. We should learn 
this by single instances in the following way. Let us 
take as earthy our first single element — all men, 
all things that have many feet or none, and those that 
move along and that stay still, held in place by roots ; 
but we must conceive its unity thus, — though all 
these things are the outcome of all kinds, yet for the 
most part it is of earth and of solid nature. And 
another kind of creature we must regard as second 
in birth as well as one that can be seen : for its 
greatest part is of fire, though it has some earth and 
air, and has shght portions of all the others also, 
wherefore we must say that all sorts of creatures are 
born of them, and things seen, and here again we 
must conceive the heavenly kinds of creatures, which 
altogether, we must agree, have been born as the 
divine race of stars, endowed vvith the fairest body as 
also Mith the happiest and best soul.^ One or other 
of two lots we may very well, in our judgement, assign 
to them : for each of them is either imperishable and 
immortal, and by all necessity wholly divine, or has 
a certain longevity sufficient for the life of each, sach 
that nothing could ever require a longer one. 

Let us therefore first observe that, as we state it, 

^ Here the author agrees with Plato, Tim. 39 e flF. ; Laws 
X. 889 B. 



etvai ^(va, ttolXlv yap Xeywjxev, opara jxev a/x^o- 
rcpa, TO {xev e/c -nvpos, ojs Sofeiev dv, oXov, to 8' 
e/c yrjs, /cat to fiev y-fjivov eu ara^ta, to S' eV 
TTvpos iv TOL^ei TToiarj Kivovybevov to fiev ovv iv 
oTa^Lo. KLvovfievov d(f)pov XPV vop,iiC,eiv, OTrep u)s to 

B TToXv Spa TO TTepl 'qfjbds ^wov, to 8e iv Ta^ei t€ /cat 
ovpavcp TTopov e^ov jxeya TeKp^r^piov y^pr] Troiciadat, 
Tov <f)p6vLpL0v elvai' KaTO. Taind yap dv /cat coaaiJTO)s 
7Top€v6p,€vov del /cat ttoiovv /cat Trdaxov TeKp^-qpiov 
LKavov TOV (fypovLjjuog ^t]v c'ltj irapexop^evov. rj 
fjjvxyjs Se dvdyKT] vovv K€KTi^pi€vrjs aTraaoiv dvayKOiv 
•noXv jxeyiaTT] yiyvovT^ dv dp^ovoa yap dXX ovk 
apxopievr] vopboQeTel. to he dpLeTaoTpocjiOV , otov 

C ipvx'Ti TO dpioTov /caTO, TOV dpiOTov ^ovXevorjTai 
vovv, TO TeXeov eK^aivei tcv ovtl /caTo, vovv, /cat 
ovSe dSa/xa? dv avTov KpeiTTov ovSe dpieTaoTpo- 
(f)d)Tepov dv TTOTe yevoiTO, dAA' ovtojs TpeXs Motpat 
KaTexovaai cfivXaTTOvai TeXeov elvai to ^eXTLOTrj 
^ovXfj ^e^ovXevjjLevov e/cdarots' dedjv. tols he 
dvdpcoTTOLS ^XPV^ TeKpLripiov elvai tov vovv exeiv 
doTpa T€ /cat crvpiTTaaav TavTTjv ttjv htaTvopeiav , 
OTi TCI auTO. del TrpaTTei Std to ^e^ovXevfieva 
rrdAat vpaTTeiv OavpLaoTov Tiva xpovov oaov, dXX 

D ov pi€Ta^ovXev6pt,€vov dvco /cat KaTco, totc p,ev 
eTepa, dXXoTe he dXXa rrpaTTOv, TrXavdoOai Te /cat 
pbeTaKVKXeladai. Tovd^ 'Qpucdv tols ttoXXols avTO 
TovvavTLov eho^ev, otl Ta aind /cat waavTcos 
TrpdrTct/ ifjvx'^y ovk exeiv ovto) tols d^poai 
arw€<f>ea7r€TO to ttXtjOos, ojs to pLev dvdpcoTTLvov 
^ Trpdrrei Stephanus : irpaTTeiv mss. 

^ " Necessity " is used here in the old poetic sense of a com- 
pelling or overruling power; cf. the mention of the Fates below. 



such creatures are of two sorts — for let us state it again 
— both visible, the one of fire, as would appear, 
entirely, and the other of earth ; and the earthy 
is in disorder, whereas that of fire has its motion in 
perfect order. Now that which has motion in dis- 
order we should regard as unintelligent, acting like 
the animal creatures about us for the most part ; but 
that which has an orderly and heavenly progress 
must be taken as strongly evincing its intelligence. 
For in passing on and acting and being acted upon 
always in the same respects and manner it must 
provide sufficient evidence of its intelligent life. The 
necessity ^ of a soul that has acquired mind will prove 
itself by far the greatest of all necessities ; for it 
makes laws as ruler, not as ruled : but this inalterable 
thing, when the soul has taken the best counsel in 
accord with the best mind, comes out as the perfect 
thing in truth and in accord with mind, and not even 
adamant could ever prove stronger than it or more 
inalterable ; but in fact the three Fates have it in 
hold, and keep watch that what has been decided 
by each of the gods A\ith the best counsel shall be 
perfect. And men ought to have found proof of the 
stars and the whole of that travelling system being 
possessed of mind in the fact that they always do the 
same things because they do what has been decided 
long ago for an incalculable time, not deciding 
differently this way and that, and doing sometimes 
one thing, sometimes another, in wanderings and 
changes of circuit. Most of us have thought just the 
opposite — that because they do the same things in 
the same way they have no soul : the multitude 
followed the lead of the unintelhgent so far as to 
suppose that, whereas humanity was intelhgent and 



€fjL(f)pov /cat l^oJv CO? KLVov/uLevov VTToXa^elv, TO Be 
delov a(f)pov cos fievov ev rats" avrals (f)opalg' i^ijv 
8e dv9pa)TTCp ye cttI ra /caAAtcD /cat ^eXrico Kac 

E (filXa ridepbevcp Xafi^dveiv, (hs Sid rovro avro 
ep,<j>pov Set vopuit^eiv rd Kord ravrd /cat cbaavrcos 
/cat Sta ravrd Trpdrrov der rovro S' etvat rrjv rwv 
darrpojv (J)Vglv, Ihelv fxev KaXXloriqv, Tropeiav he /cat 
Xopeiav TTOvrajv x^pwv KaXXiariqv /cat p-eyaXo- 
TTpeTTeardrrjv )('^pevovra rrdai rois ^cjai rd Seov 
dTToreXelv. /cat p,rjv on ye St/catcos ep,i/jvxO' avrd 
983 Xeyopbev, Trpdyrov rd p,eyedos avrdjv Stavor)6a)p,ev. 
ov ydp, COS crp,LKpd (f)avrdt,€rai, rrjXi-Kavra ovrcos 
ecrrtv, dXX' dpb'qx^vov eKaarov avrGiv rov dyKov, 
TTtoreuaat 8' d^Lov drroheL^ecTL ydp iKavals Aa/x- 
jSai/erat* rdv ydp rjXcov oXov rrjs yrjs dXrjs /xet^oj 
Siavorjdrjvai Svvardv dpdcos, /cat Trai^a Siy ra 
^epopbeva dor pa davp,aar6v ri p,eyedos ^X^'- 
Xd^copuev S-q, ris rpoTTOS dv etr) roaovrov Trept^epetv 
oyKov rivd (f)vaiv rdv avrdv del ;)^/3dvov, daov /cat 

B vvv 7repL(f)€ per at. dedv hrj ^rj/xt rdv alriov eaeaOac, 
/cat ovTTod' erepcos elvat Svvarov epufjvxov p.ev 
ydp ovTTore yevoir^ dv erepa ttXtjv 8ta deov, djs 
7jpi€is d7Te(f)rjvdp,eda' ore Be rovro olds re eari Beds, 
diraaa avrco pacrrcovr) yeyove rov rrpGirov p.ev 
^cpov yeyovevai ttov acop,a /cat oyKov avp,7Tavra, 
erreira, fjirep dv dtavorjdfj ^eXriara, ravrrj (^epeiv. 
vvv Srj TTepl drravrwy rovrcov eva Xoyov Xeyoipiev 
dXrjdi]' ovK earrL yrjv re /cat ovpavdv drravras re 

C darepo.s oyKovs re e/c rovrcov cwpLTravras , pif] 
^v)(fjs TTpds eKaarcx) yevopcevrjs t^ /cat iv eKaarois, 
elra els d/cpt^etav /car' eviavrdv ovrco iropeveadai 

' 1 Cf. Plato, Tim. 40 c. 



living because it moved about, divinity was un- 
intelligent because it abode in the same courses. 
But if man had sided with the fairer and better and 
friendly part, he might have concluded that he ought 
to regard as intelligent — and for this verj* reason — 
that which acts always in the same respects, in the 
same way, and for the same reasons ; and that this 
is the nature of the stars, fairest to see, and passing 
along, dancing^ the fairest and most magnificent of 
all dances in the world, they make good the needs of 
all living creatures. And now, to see how justly we 
speak of their living spirit, let us first consider their 
great size. For they are not actually those small 
things that they appear to be, but each of them is 
immense in its bulk ; we should do well to beheve 
this, because there are ample proofs of such a con- 
clusion. For we can rightly consider the whole of 
the sun as larger than the whole of the earth, and all 
the travelhng stars are of amazing size. Let us 
conclude then whether it can possibly be that any 
natural force revolves this great mass that is now 
being revolved, continually and at the same time. 
God, then, I say, will be the cause, and never in any 
other way is it possible. For never can a thing get 
li\'ing spirit by any other means than by the act of 
God, as we have explained ; and when God is able to 
do this, he has found it a perfectly easy matter, 
firstly that all body and all mass should be made a 
living creature, and secondly to move it in the course 
he considers best. So now I trust we may make one 
true statement about all these things : it cannot be 
that earth and heaven and all the stars and all the 
masses they comprise, ^\^thout soul attached to each 
or resident in each, should pass along as they do, so 



Kara firjvds re /cat rj^epas, Kal crufMnavra ra 
yiyvoybeva avyLTTaaiv rjfjuv dyaOa ytyveadai. 

Aet Se, OCTO) (j)\avp6r€p6v ear* dvdpoiiTos, fX'q roL 
Xrjpovvrd ye, aacf)a)s §e ri Xeyovra ^aiveaOai. 
pvjjuas iiev ovv et ns alrtas nvas epel crcofidrcov t) 
<j>vaeLs Tj Tt roLovrov, ovhev aa^es epel' ro 8e Trap' 
rjfiajv elp-qfjievov Oi^ohp" dvaXa^elv XPV' "^orepov 
D ex^** Xoyov 6 Xoyos rj Trdvrcos varepel, ro Trpcorov 
jjuev rd ovra elvai Svo, ro p,ev ijjv)(rjv, ro he acbjjia, 
Kol TToXXd eKarepov, Trdvra Se diXXiqXoiV dXXa Kai 
eKdrepa eKorepcov, /cat rpirov dXXo ovhev kolvov 
ovBevL, Sta^epetv 8e ijsvyr^v aa)p,aros. efic/ipov fiev 
7TOV, ro Se d(f)pov drjaopLev, dp^ov Se, ro Se dpxd- 
jjLevov, Kal ro jjuev a'iriov dTrdvrcov, ro Se avairLov 
Trdcrqs Trddrjs' ware rd ye Stj /car' ovpavov v-n 
E oAAoy rov <^dvai yeyovevai, /cat /xt^ i\svyris re /cat 
aco/Ltaros' ovrois eXvai yevvr^fxara, ttoXXt] p.oipia re 
/cat oAoyia. et S' ovv Set vlkov rovs Trepl aTrdvrwv 
ra>v roiovrcov Xoyovs /cat TTiarcos deZa (fyaiveadai 
yeyovevai rd roiavra crvpiTTavra, Bvolv rot darepa 
dereov aura* -^ yap deovs avrovs ravra v/jbvqreov 
984 opdorara, rj dedJv et/cdva? dis dydX/juara vnoXa- 
^etv yeyovevai, dedJv avrd)v epyaaajxevcov ov yap 
dvoiqrojv ye ouSe ^pax^os d^icov, dXX' drrep eiprj- 
Kap^ev, rovroiv riplv ddrepa derea, rd Se redevra 

1 Soul and body, in their respective spheres, cover or 
account for the whole of existent things, of whatever kind, 
from the astral to the inanimate. 



exactly to every year and month and day, and that 
all the things that happen should happen for the good 
of us all. 

And according as man is a meaner creature, he 
should show himself, not a babbler, but a speaker 
of clear sense. If, then, anyone shall speak of 
onrushes or natural forces or the like as in a sort the 
causes of bodies, he vi 11 say nothing clear : but we must 
firmly recall what we have said, and see whether our 
statement is reasonable or is utterly at fault — namely, 
in the first place, that existence is of two kinds, the 
one soul, and the other body, and that many things are 
in either, though all are different from each other and 
those of the one kind from those of the other,^ and 
that there is no other third thing common to any of 
them ; but soul differs from body. Intelhgent, of 
course, we shall hold it to be, and the other un- 
intelhgent ; the one governs, the other is governed ; 
and the one is cause of all things, while the other is 
incapable of causing any of its experiences : so tliat 
to assert that the heavenly bodies have come into 
existence through anything else, and are not the 
offspring, as we have said, of soul and body, is great 
folly and unreason. However, if our statements on 
all such existences are to prevail, and the whole order 
of them is to be convincingly shown to be di\ine bv 
their origin, we must certainly class them as one or 
the other of two things : either we must in all correct- 
ness glorify them as actual gods, or suppose them 
to be images produced as likenesses of the gods, 
creations of the gods themselves. For they are the 
work of no mindless or inconsiderable beings but, as 
we have said, we must class them as one or other of 
these things ; and, if classed as the latter, we must 



rtfjirjTeov Trdvrcov dyaXfjidrajv 8i,a(f>6p6vroJS' ov 
yap jjbrjTTore <f)avfj KaXXioj /cat Koivorepa avp,- 
TTovrcov avdpcoTTiov dydXfiara, ouS' iv 8ia(f)€pov(n 
roTTOLS Ihpvjxeva, KadapLOTTjrt Kal aep^vorrjTi koi 

B avjJLTTaurj ^ajj] 8ta(f)€povTa, ■^ ravrrj, (Ls Trdvrrj 
ravTT] yeyev7]Tai. vvv ouv hrj Trepl decijv ey)(^eLpcx)p,€V 
TO ye roaovrov, to. hvo KanSovres ^a)a opard 
rjpuv, a (f)apL€v dddvarov, to 8e yrjivov aTvav dvrjrov 
yeyovevaiy ra rpta rd peaa rwv Trevre rd fiera^v 
rovTCJV aa(f)earaTa Kard So^av ttjv iTneLKrj yeyo- 
vora 7T€Lpa6rjvai Xeyeiv. aldepa fjiev ydp p^erd ro 
TTvp ddjpev, ipvxyjv S' i^ avrov rtOdjpev TrXdrreLV 
C^pa SvvapiLV e^ovra, oiairep rwv dXXcov yevcov, to 

C TToXv p,€v TTJs avTov (f>vaecos , rd he apuKporepa 
avvheapov X^P^^ ^'^ '^^^ dXXcov yevcov perd 8e 
rov aidepa e^ depos TrXdrreiv ttjv i/jvxrjv yevos 
erepov ^cpcov, Kal rd rpirov e^ vSaros' Trdvra he 
hrjpLovpyijaacTav ravra ijjvxrjv ^cocov elKos oXov 
ovpavdv epTrXrjaai, ;!^p7^CTa/xeV7yv Trdac roXs yeveai 
Kara hvvapiv, Trdvrcov pev pero^o^v rov ^rjv 
yeyovoroiv hevrepa he Kal rpira Kal rerapra Kal 
TTepLTrra, airo decjv rajv cfiavepiov dp^dpeva yeveaeojg , 
D ei? ripd? rovs dvdpcoTTOVS dnoreXevrdv . 

Qeoijs pev hrj, Ata re Kal "Hpav Kal rovs dXXovs 
TTavras, otttj ris eOeXei, ravrr] Kard rov avrov 
rideaOoj vopov Kal rrdyLov ep^erct) rovrov rov Xoyov 
deovg he hrj rovg oparovs, peyiarovs Kal ripico- 

^ i.e. fire, ether, air, water, earth ; cf. 981 c. 

^ First come the stars, or " manifest gods " ; then the 
creatures of ether, air and water (the second, third or fourth 
kinds) ; and fifth and last, the creatures of earth or mankind. 

* i.e. the law governing the order or scale of animate 
creatures which has been described. The writer, like Plato 


honour them far above all images : for never will 
fairer or more generally-knoAvn images be found 
among all mankind, none established in more various 
places, more pre-eminent in purity, majesty, and Ufa 
altogether, than in the way in which their existence 
is altogether fashioned. Well then, for the present 
let us attempt so much in treating of the gods, as to 
try — after obser\ing the two living creatures \"isible 
to us, of which we call one immortal, and the other, all 
earthy, a mortal creation — to tell of the three middle 
things of the five,^ which come most evidently, accord- 
ing to the probable opinion, between those two. For 
let us consider ether as coming next after fire, and 
let us hold that soul fashions from it live creatures 
with their faculties, as it does creatures from the other 
kinds of element, each being for the most part of 
that one nature, but in its lesser parts derived from 
the other elements for the sake of connexion. After 
ether, there is fashioned by soul another kind of 
creature from air, and the third kind from water ; and 
by ha\-ing produced all these it is likely that soul 
filled the whole heaven with creatures, having made 
use of all the elements so far as it could, and all the 
creatures having been made participators in hfe ; but 
the second, third, fourth, and fifth kinds, which took 
their first origin from what are manifest gods, end 
finally in us men.^ 

Now the gods — Zeus and Hera and all the rest — 
each man must regard in what light he pleases, 
though according to the same law,^ and must take this 
account as reliable. But as our visible gods, greatest 

{Tim. 40 D-ll a), avoids any definite statement about the 
traditional deities: like Plato again (Tim. 41a-42e), he is 
more concerned with the " visible gods," or stars. 



Tarovs Koi o^vrarov opcbvras Trdvrr], rovs rrpcorovs 
TTjv rcbv aarpoiv <j)vaiv Xcktcov Kal oara }iera rovrcov 
aiadavofjieda yeyovora, [xera Se rovrovs /cat vtto 
E rovroLS e^rjs Sacfiovas, depLov Se yevos, ^xov eSpav 
TpiT-qv Kal jjieaiqv, ttjs ippLrjveia? alriov, ev^oXs 
TLfxdv jJidXa xpediv xaptv tt^S" ev<j>rjp.ov SiaTropeias. 
rd)v 8e Suo rovroiv t,u)aiv, rov t' e^ aWepos icfie^ijs 
T€ aepos, ov^ Biopeo/jievov oXov avTd)v eKdrepov 
eti'ttf TTapov St) -nXiqalov ov KardhrjXov rjpilv yi- 
985 yveaOar pLeri^^ovra Se <l>povTqae(x)s 6avp,a(TTi]s, are 
yevovs ovra evfiadovs re Kal pivrjpLOvos , yiyvcoaKCLV 
fiev avfiTTacrav rrjv rjfierepav avrd Bidvoiav Xeywfxev, 
Kat rov re KaXov rj/jidJv Kal dyadov dpua davfMaardJs 
aaTrdt^eadai Kal rov a(f>6hpa KaKov fxiaeZv, are 
Xv7T7]s pLere^ovra rjSrj- deov fxev yap Srj rov reXos 
k)(ovra rrjs deias pLoipas 'i^co rovrcov elvai, Xvtttjs 
re /cai rjhovrjs, rov Se (f)poveLV Kal rov yiyvioGKeLV 
Kara Travra /xereiAT^^eVat* Kal avp.TiX'qpovs Srj l,a)cov 
B ovpavov yeyovoros , ipprjveveadai Trpos dXXy^Xovg 
re /cat rovs dKpordrovs deovs trdvras re Kal 
TTavra, Sid ro (jyepeadai, ra p,eaa rd)v l,a>oiV em re 
yrjv Kat evrt rov oXov ovpavov eXa<j)pa (fjepopueva 
pvp,r). ro Se vSaros rrep^rrrov ov ripiideov p,€V 
aTTeiKacreLev dv ris opddJs a.Tret/ca^aji' e^ avrov 
yeyovevai, Kal rovr^ elvai rore p,ev 6pd)p€Vov, 
1 ov vulg. : dv MSS. 

^ The daemons or divine spirits had their existence and 
activity " betwixt mortal and immortal," and they served as 
interpreters and conveyers of men's prayers and offerings to 
the gods, and of the god's behests and requitals to men 
(Plato, Sympos. 202 d). Good mortals might become 
daemons after death (Eurip. Ale. 1003 ; Plato, Cratyl. 398 b ; 
Lucian, De mortePeregr. 36), and as such they were charged 



and most honourable and having keenest vision every 
way, we must count first the order of the stars and 
all else that we perceive existing with them ; and 
after these, and next below these, the divine spirits,^ 
and air-born race, holding the third and middle 
situation, cause of interpretation, which we must 
surely honoiu* with prayers for the sake of an 
auspicious journey across.^ We must say of either of 
these two creatures — that which is of ether and, next 
to it, of air — that it is not entirely plain to sight : 
when it is near by, it is not made manifest to us ; but 
partaking of extraordinary intelligence, as belonging 
to an order which is quick to learn and strong in 
memory, we may say that they understand the whole 
of our thoughts, and show extraordinary kindness to 
anyone of us who is a good man and true, and hate 
him who is utterly evil, as one who already partakes 
of suffering. For we know that God, who has the 
privilege of the divine portion, is remote from these 
affections of pain and pleasure, but has a share of 
intelligence and knowledge in every sphere ; and the 
heaven being filled full of hve creatures, they inter- 
pret all men and all things both to one another and 
to the most exalted gods, because the middle crea- 
tures move both to earth and to the whole of heaven 
with a lightly rushing motion. The kind which is of 
water, ^ the fifth, we shall be right in representing 
as a semi-di\ine product of that element, and it is 

with the guidance and care of mankind (Plato, Laws 713 d; 
Plutarch, De genio Socr. 588 c). 

* The "journey across " seems to refer to one part of the 
"conveying" that daemons performed — conducting the 
souls of deceased human beings from earth to the abode of 
the gods. 

* The nymphs. 



aAAore Se aTTOKpv(jidev dSrjXov yiyvofxevov, Oavfxa 
KOT a/jLvSpav oifjiv irapexoiievov. rovTO}v Srj rojv 

C Trevre ovtcds ovroiv ^ipaiv, onr] rives evirv^ov rj/jLajv, 
■^ Kad' VTTVov iv oveipoTToXia Trpoarvxovres , rj Kara 
(f)'qfjias re /cat jxavreias Xe)(dev riaiv iv d/coats" 
vyiaLvovGiv -q /cat Kapivovatv, t] /cat reXevrfj ^lov 
irpocrrvxecn yevo/JLevois , iSt'a re /cat SrjpiocrLa So^as" 
TTapayevofievas , odev lepa ttoAAo, ttoXXcov yeyove, 
TO, Se yevriaerai, rovrcov iravrcov vo/Jioderrjs, ocms 
vovv KeKnqrai /cat rov ^paxvrarov, ovTTore fxr] 
roX/x-qarj Katvoro/jbwv errl deoae^eiav, rjris fxr) 

D CTa0€S" e)(eL ri, rpeipat ttoXlv iavrov' /cat fj,r]v ouS' 
(hv o irarpios vop,os e'ipT)Ke Trepl dvaicov dnoKcoXvaei, 
fj,r]Sev ro TrapaTrav elStos, wamep ouS' 6V Bvvarov 
elSevai rfj dvrjrfj ^vaei rtov roiovrcov irepi. rovs 
Se 6vra>s rj/xiv (f)avepovs ovras deovs dp" ovx avros 
Xoyos e-)(ei KaKtarovs eivat rovs fJir} roXfxdjvras 
Xeyeiv rjpAV /cat <j>avepovs TTOielv dvopycdarovs re 
ovras erepovs deovs /cat rijxds fJirj he^op-evovs rds 
TTpocrrjKovaas avroZs ; vvv Se Si^ av/Jb^atvei yi- 

E yv6p,evov a/xa ro roiovrov otov yap el rrore ns 
Tjixcov tJXlov t) aeX-qvrjv ecopaKcbs -^v yiyvop^evovs 
e<f>op<jL)vrds re 'qp.ds Trdvras, /cat p,r] e<j)pa^ev 
dhvvaros (^v rrrj (f)pdt,ei,v, rijjirjs re dpioipovs ovras 
dpLa /cat p^T] 7Tpo6vp,olro ro ye avrov p,epos, 
els evrip.ov x^P^^ Kara<f)avels dycov avrovs, 
eoprds re avrols yiyveadai iTOielv Kal dvaias, 
d7ToXap,^av6pi€v6v re xpovov e/cacrrot? p,€Lt,6v(x)v /cat 
eXarrovcov TroAAa/ctS' eviavrcov wpas Biavep^ecv, dp" 

^ The astral gods. 


at one time seen, but at another is concealed through 
becoming obscure, presenting a marvel in the dim- 
ness of \ision. So these five being really existent 
creatures, wherever any of us came upon them, 
either happening upon them in the dream-world of 
sleep, or by something spoken to persons hstening in 
health, or equally in sickness, through ominous utter- 
ances and prophecies, or again when they have 
arrived at the end of life — opinions that occur to us 
both in private and in public, whence many sanctities 
of many beings have arisen, and others shall arise — 
in regard to all these the lawgiver who possesses even 
the shghtest degree of mind ^\"ill never dare by 
innovations to turn his city to a divine worship which 
is lacking in certainty. Nor indeed \s,-i\\ he put a stop 
to sacrifices on which the ancestral custom has pro- 
nounced, when he knows nothing at all of the matter, 
just as it is not possible for mortal nature to know 
about such things. And of the gods who are really 
manifest to us ^ the same statement must siu-ely 
hold — that those men are most evil who have not 
courage to tell and make manifest to us that these 
are like\^^se gods, but -without any frenzied rites, or 
any tribute of the honours that are their due. But as 
things are, we have a strange conjunction of pro- 
ceedings : for it is as though one of us should see the 
sun or moon being born and all of us looking on, and 
should utter no word through some impotence of 
speech, and should not also at the same time be 
zealous, so far as in him lay, when they lacked their 
share of honour, to bring them in all evidence to an 
honoured place, and cause festivals and sacrifices to 
be offered to them, and apportion to each a reserved 
space of time for the greater or lesser length of its 

VOL. VIII 2 H 465 


986 ovK av /ca/co? eavrw re koL aAAoj to) yiyvaxjKovTi 
Xeyojxevos iv Slkyj avveSoKei Xeyeadat ttot' av; 

KA. riajs" yap OVK, oj ^eVe; KaKicrros fxev ovv. 

A@. Tovro roCvvv, o) KAetvta (^t'Ae, Trepl ifxe vvv 
yiyv6fX€vov tadi <f)avep(x)s. 

KA. ricDs' Xeyeis ; 

A0. "lore o/CTCo SwdfieL? rcov Trepl oXov ovpavov 
yeyovviag dSeAi^a? aXX-qXojv, Sv KadecopaKa iyco' 
Kal ovSev fieya Sta7re7rpay/xat. paScov yap /cat 
B irepcp- rovrcjv 8' elal rpei? avrai, jxla fiev rjXiov, 
puia 8e aeXrjvris, pila 8e tcDv [TrAavTyroji^]^ d(jrpa)v, 
<Lv ept,vrjadrjp,€V oXiyov kpiTvpoadev Trevre Se erepai. 
rai/ras' 817 Tvdaas Kai rovrovs rovs iv TavraiaLV 
evre avrovs lovras €lt€ <j)epop,evovs ev 6-)(rjpiaai 
TTopevead at raxjrrj, /xi^Sei? dXXws ttotc vopLiar] 
TTovrixiv Tjpbcov, (hs ol fiev deoi elaiv avrcov, ot 8' 
ov, /^^S' cos OL /xev yv^oLoi, ol 8e tolovtol nveg, 
otovs ovBe depiLS eiTTelv -qpLaJv ovSevL, rrdvres Se 
Srf TTCiJ^as' Xeyojpiev re Kal ^ciipLev dheX<j>ovs r 
C elvai Kal iv dSeA^at? pLoipaig, koI npids aTro- 
Sihcopiev pLTj ro) pbev iviavrov, rip he pLrjva, rots Se 
^7]Te nvd piOLpav rdrrcjpiev pi-qre rcvd XRO^ov, iv a> 
Ste^epxerai rov avrov ttoXov, avvaTroreXaJv KoapLOV, 
ov era^e Xoyos 6 Trdvrcov deioraros oparov ov 6 
puev evSaipioJV Trpcorov /xev idavpuaaev, eTreira Se 
epcora eaxe rov Korapiadelv oiroaa dvrjrfj (f)vaei 

^ Tr\avr)TU)v sefl. Burnet. 

1 "Year " is used here for "circuit." 

^ Cf. Plato, Tim. 38 ff, where God is said to have made, 
besides the fixed stars, the sun, the moon, and the five 
planets — Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars — for 
the generation of time. 



year,* as may happen : would it not be agreed both 
by himself and by another who observed it that he 
would justly be described as an e\-il man ? 

CL. To be sure he would, my good sir ; nay, most 

ATH. Well then, this, my dear Cleinias, is what, 
you may take it, has e\idently happened to me 

ex,. How do you mean ? 

ATH. You know that there are eight powers of 
those contained in the whole heaven which are 
cognate to each other : these I have observed, and 
it is no great achievement ; for it is easy enough for 
anybody. Three of them are that of the sun, for 
one, that of the moon for another, and a third that 
of the stars which we mentioned a httle while ago ; 
and there are five others besides.^ Now in regard to 
all these and those beings who either have their o\\'n 
motion in these, or are borne in vehicles so as to make 
their progress thus, let none of us all ever idly suppose 
that some of them are gods, while others are not, or 
that some are genuine, while others are of a certain 
kind which it is not permissible to any of us even to 
express ; but let us all declare and say that they are 
all cognate and have cognate lots, and let us render 
them due honour, not by gixing to one a vear, to 
another a month ; but to none of them let us appoint 
either a certain lot or a certain time in which it 
travels through its particular orbit, completing the 
system which the di\inest reason of alP apjjointed to 
be \isible. This first the man who is blest adjnire§, and 
then he feels a passion for understanding so much as 
is possible for mortal nature, behe\ing that thus he 

» i.e. the supreme deity of Plato's Timaeus. 



Suvard, rjyovfxevos dpcaO^ ovrcos evrvx^arara re 
D Sta^etv TOP ^iov reXevrijaas re els tottovs rj^^tv 
TTpoarjKovras dperfj, kol fMefxvqfjievos dXrjdays re 
/cat ovrcog, fieraXa^ojv (jipovrjaeois elg cjv puds, 
rov iTTiXoLTTov ■)(^p6vov decopos rdJv KaXXicrrajv 
yevopievos , daa /car* oifjiv, hiareXel. vvv hrj ro 
p,€rd rovd' rjp,Xv Xolttov Xeyeiv oaoi r eiai, /cat 
E rives ' ov ydp puajTrore ^avcojLtev ipevSels. jSe^atto? 
8r) huaxvpit,opiai ro ye roaovrov. Xeyoi yap 
TToXiv o/cTco p,ev elvai, rcbv he oktco rpeis /iev 
elprj^OaL, rrevre 8' eri AoiTras'. 17 rerdprr) Se <f)opa 
/cat Ste^oSo? afta /cat TTefiTrrrj rdx^i p-ev -qXicp 
(JX^hov 'i<jrj, /cat ovre ^paSvrepa ovre darrcov ro 
y eTTLTTav. Set^ rovrcov rpicov ovrcov rov vovv 
Ikovov exovra rjyeladai. Xeycopev Sr) ravras rjXiov 
r etvai /cat ewa(f)6pov, /cat rpirov, cos p-ev 6vop,ari 
<f)pd^€iv ovK eari hid ro pirj yiyvdoaKeadai, rovrov 
8' atTto? o TTpdJros ravra Karihcbv ^dp^apos d)V 
TTaXaios ydp hrj rporros eOpeifje rovs Trpcorovs 
987 ravra ewo'qcravras hid ro /caAAo? rrjs deptvrjs 
aipas, rjv Aiyvrrros re Hvpia 8' t/cavcD? KeKrrjrai, 
(f)avepovs piev ws eiros enreiv aarepas aei crvp,7Tavras 
KadopdJvras, are ve(f>cov /cat vhdrcov dTTOTrpoaOev 
del rov K6ap,ov KeKrrjpievovs' odev Kai travraxoae 
/cat hevp' efyj/cet, fie^aaaviap^eva XP^'^V pLvpierei re 
/cat aTreipcp. hio dappovvra XPV ''"aura els vopovs 
deodar ro ydp pir) Tt/xta rd Qela elvai, rd he np^ia, 
B aa(f)d)S OVK epicfypovcov on he ovk ov6p,ara kax^JKe, 
^ del Burnet : del mss. 

^ i.e. sun, moon, and fixed stars. 

2 Venus (or Lucifer) ; cf. Plato, Tim. 38 d, 

^ Mercury. 



will best and most happily pass through life, and 
at the end of his days will arrive at regions meet 
for virtue ; and having been truly and really initiated, 
and won his individual intelhgenee, and become for 
the rest of time a spectator of what is fairest, so far 
as sight can go, in this state he continues. And now 
after this it remains for us to say how many and who 
these beings are : for we shall never be found to have 
spoken falsely. Thus far, at least, I asseverate with 
certainty : I say, once more, that there are eight of 
them, and that while three ^ of the eight have been 
told, five yet remain. The fourth ^ in motion and 
transit together, and the fifth,^ are almost equal to the 
sun in speed, and on the whole are neither slower nor 
swifter. These being three, must be so regarded by 
him who has sufficient naind. So let us speak of them 
as powers of the sun and of Lucifer, and of a tliird,^ 
such that we cannot express it in a name because it 
is not known ; and he is to blame for this who first 
beheld these things, since he was a foreigner : for it 
was an ancient custom that nurtured those who first 
remarked these things owing to the fairness of the 
summer season which Eg}-pt and Syria amply possess, 
so that they constantly beheld the whole mass, one 
may say, of stars revealed to their sight, since they 
had got them continually without obstruction of 
clouds and rains in the sky ; whence they have 
emerged in every direction and in ours likewise, after 
having been examined for thousands of years, nay, 
for an infinite time. And therefore we should not 
hesitate to include them in the scope of our laws ; for 
to have divine things lacking honour, wiiile other 
things are honoured, is clearly a sign of witlessness ; 
and as to their having got no names, the cause of 



rrjv ye air Lav XPV Aeyea^at ravrr]v. aAAo. yap 
eTTCovvfjiLav elXr](j)aaL Qecjv 6 fiev yap icoa(f)6pos 
earrepos re cov avros ^ Acjypohir-qs elvai a)(e86v 
e)(ei, Xoyov /cat jxaXa ILvpicv vofjioderr) TrpeTTOv, 6 8' 
o/xoSpofMOs 'qXico re afxa /cat rovrcp a)(€86v *E/j/xou* 
rpels 8' en (f)opas Xeycofiev em Se^ta TTopevofievcov 
fjiera creX-qvrjs re /cat rjXiov. eva 8e rov oyhoov XP'^ 
XeyeLV, ov ndXi,arrd res av^ kog/jlov rrpoaayopevoi, 
OS evavTLOs eKetvois avpLTracri rropeverai, <oy/c>* 
dyojv rovs dXXovs, oj? ye dvOpcLirois (jyaivoir' dv 
oAtya rovroiv elhoaiv. oaa 8e iKavws lajxev, 

C dvdyKit) Xeyeiv /cat Xeyofiev rj yap ovrcos ovaa 
ao(f)La ravrrj tttj (j)aiveraL rco /cat cr/xi/cpa avwoias 
6pdi]s ^eta? re fiereiXr](f)6rL. XolttoI Srj rpels dare- 
pes, CUV els fjiev ^pahvrrjrL 8ta</>epajv avrcvv earl, 
J^povov 8 a'urov rives eTTcovvixiav (jydeyyovrav rov 
8e fxerd rovrov ^paSvrrjrL Xeyeiv XP^ Atoj* "Apeojs 
he 6 fjLerd rovrov, irdvrcov he ovros epvdpcorarov 
e^et XP^P'^- xa.Ae77ov he ovhev rovrcov Karavoriaai 

D Ttva <f)pdt,ovr6s rivos, dXXd p,a66vra, ws Xeyofiev, 
rjyeladaL hel. 

Tohe ye {jLtjv hiavorjOrjvai, XP^ ^rdvr^ dvhpa "EA- 
Xrjva, CO? roTTOV exofxev rov rCov 'EAAt^vwv irpos 
dperrjv ev rols ax^hov dpiarov ro 8' eTratverov 

^ civ Burnet : dvu) mss. 
^ ovK add. Burnet. 

^ Lucifer, or Hesperus, may for its beauty be connected 
with Aphrodite (and so got the further name of Venus). 

* The cult of Aphrodite flourished among all the eastern 

^ Venus. 

* Hermes being the god of escort or attendance (whence 
this " power " came to be known as Mercury). 



it should be stated as we have done. For indeed 
they have received titles of gods : thus, that Lucifer, 
or Hesperus (which is the same), should almost belong 
to Aphrodite,^ is reasonable, and quite befitting a 
Sj-rian lawgiver - ; and that that which follows the 
same course as the sun and this ^ together should almost 
belong to Hermes.^ Let us also note three motions 
of bodies ^ travelhng to the right with the moon and 
the sun. One must be mentioned, the eighth,® which 
we may especially address as the world-order, and 
which travels in opposition to the whole company of the 
others, not impelling them, as might appear to man- 
kind in the scant knowledge that they have of these 
matters. But we are bound to state, and do state, 
so much as adequate knowledge tells us. For real 
wisdom shows herself in some such way as this to 
him who has got even a little share of right and di\'ine 
meditation. And now there remain three stars, of 
which one is distinguished from the others by its 
slowness, and some speak of it under the title of 
Saturn ; the next after it in slowness is to be cited 
as Jupiter ; and the next after this, as Mars, which 
has the ruddiest hue of all. Nothing in all this is 
hard to understand when someone expresses it ; but 
it is through learning, as we declare, that one must 
beheve it. 

But there is one point which every Greek should 
bear in mind — that of all Greeks we have a situation 
which is about the most favourable to human excel- 
lence.' The praiseworthy thing in it that we have to 

* Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. 

* Here, after the sun, moon, Venus, Mercurj% Mars, 
Jupiter, and Saturn, we return to the sphere of the fixed 
stars (mentioned as the " third power " in 986 b). 

' Cf. Plato, Tim. 2\ c. 



avrov xpr] Xeyeiv on fjieaog av eti^ p^ei/icovcov re 
/cat rrjs depLvrjs ^vaeojs, rj 8' varepovcra rjjjiiv €is 
ro depivov <j)vaLS tov irepl rov eKel tottov, oTrep 
eiTTOixev, varepov av^ TrapaBeScoKe ro rovrwv roJv 
deojv rov KoafjLov Karavorjua. Xd^copLcv Be cos 

E o ri rrep av "EAAr^ve? ^ap^dpcov vapaXd^cocn, 
koXXlov rovro els reXos dTrepydt^ovraf /cat hrj Kai 
irepl rd vvv Xeyofieva ravrov Set BtavoiqdrjvaL 
rovro, (Ls ^aAeTTOj^ p,ev rrdvra rd roiavra avaiJi(j)L- 
a^rjrijrcos e^evpioKeiv, ttoXXtj 8' eXirls dfxa /cat 
988 KaXr] /caAAtov /cat St/catorepov ovrcos rrjs e/c roJv 
^ap^dpcov eXdovarjs ^tJ/xi]? re djxa /cat depaTreias 
TrdvrcDV rovrcov rcbv decov eTTiixeXiqaeadai rovs 
"EAAi^vas', 7rat8etat? re Kat e/c AeX(f)a)v /zavretat? 
XpojfJ-^vovs /cat Trdarj rjj Kard vofiovs ^epaTreta. 
roBe Be fJirjBeis irore (j)o^ridfj rdjv '^XXrjvcjv , d>s 
ov XP'^ rrepl rd detd irore Trpay/jiareveadai dvqrovs 
ovras, rrdv Be rovrcp BiavorjO-qvat rovvavrtov, cos 
ovre d(f)pov eari rrore rd delov ovre ayvoel ttov 

B rrjv dvdpu)7TLvrjv (jivaiv, dXX olBev, on BiBdaKovros 
avrov avvaKoXov9i]a€L /cat fiadi^aerai rd BtBaoKo- 
pueva- on Be BiBdaKei rovro avro rjpids, fiav- 
ddvopuev Be i^/xeis" dpidfMov re /cat dpidpieLV, olBe 
Bi^TTOV TrdvrcDV ydp d(f)poveararov dv e'lr] rovro 
dyvoovv rd Xeyojxevov ydp dv ovrws avro avro 
dyvool, ;\;aAe7ratvov rw Bvvapievcp p,avddv€Lv, dXX 
ov avyxo-tpov dvev (l)d6vov Bid dedv ayado) yevo- 
fxevo). Xoyov Brj /cat ttoXvv /cat koXov exec, rore 

C pi'€v, ore 'rrepl decov rjv dvdpcoTTOLs BiavoT^p^ara 
•npwra, ws r eyevovro oloi t' eyiyvovro /cat odev^ 
^ a5 Ast: avTois mss. ^ odev Hermann: 6 ixiv mss. 

^ Syria and Egypt ; cf. 987 a. 


mention is that it may be taken as midway between 
a wintry and a summery climate ; and our climate, 
being inferior in its summer to that in the region 
over there/ as we said, has been so much later in 
imparting the cognizance of these cosmic deities. 
And let us note that whatever Greeks acquire 
from foreigners is finally timied by them into 
something nobler ; and moreover the same thing 
must be borne in mind regarding our present state- 
ments — that although it is hard to discover every- 
thing of this kind beyond dispute, there is hope, both 
strong and noble, that a really nobler and juster 
respect than is in the combined repute and worship 
which came from foreigners will be paid to all these 
gods by the Greeks, who have the benefit of their 
various education, their prophecies from Delphi, and 
the whole system of worship under their laws. And 
let none of the Greeks ever be apprehensive that 
being mortals we should never have deahngs with 
di\lne affairs ^ ; they should rather be of the quite 
opposite opinion, that the di\"ine is never either un- 
intelligent or in any ignorance of human nature, but 
knows that if it teaches us we shall follow its guidance 
and learn what is taught us. That it so teaches us, 
and that we learn number and numeration, it knows 
of course : for it would be most utterly unintelhgent 
if it were ignorant of this ; since it would truly, as 
the sapng is, be ignorant of itself, vexed with that 
which was able to learn, instead of whole-heartedly 
rejoicing with one who became good by God's help. 
And indeed there is much good reason to suppose 
that formerly, when men had their first conceptions 
of how the gods came to exist and ^nth what quahties, 

* Cf. Plato, Laxci, vu. 821 a. 



KOL Ota? fJi,€T€X^^'P^^ovTO TTpd^eis, p-rj Kara vovv 
Tols aax/ipocrL Xeyeadai firjSe (jiiXcos, /xtjS' d>s ol 
Bevrepoi, ev ols Trpea^vrara p,ev ra TTVpos eXeyero 
/cat vSaros /cat rtov dXXcov acDjjidTcov, varepa Se 
ra rrjs davfiaarrjs tjjvx'^s, /cat <f)opd Kpeirrajv /cat 
rLpbicorepa, tjv ro acb/xa e'lXrjx^ (jiipeiv avro re eavro 
depfJbOTrjTL /cat ijjv^eai Kal Trdai rocs roiovroLg, dXX 
D ov i/jvxr] (Tcofid re /cat iaim^v vvv S' ore Xeyopiev 
i/w)(r]v fiev, dvrrep ev aiopbari yevrjrai, davfjia ovSev 
Kiveiv re /cat TTepi<j)epeiv rovro /cat eavr'qv, ovS 
Tjfuv aTTiareZ ipvx'^ Kara Xoyov ovSeva cos ^dpos 
ovSev TTepi^epeLV Swajxevrj. 8io /cat vvv rjjxcbv 
d^covvrojv, 4'^XV^ ovarjs alriag rod oXov, /cat 
TTavrcov puev rcbv dyadcov 6vrcx)v rotovrcxjv, rwv he 
av <j)Xavpcov roLovrwv aAAoiv, ri]s fiev <j)opds Traurjs 
E 'cat Kivijaecos 4'^XV^ alriav elvai Qavpia ovhev, 
rrjv 8' €771 rdyadov cf)opdv /cat KLvrjaiv rrjg dpicmqs 
ipvxyjs elvai, rrjv 8' eTrt rovvavriov evavriav, veviKiq- 
/cevat 8et /cat viKav rd ayadd rd /jltj roiavra. 

Taura rjyuv e'iprjrat irdvra Kara rrjV rwv dvoa-iojv 
rijjbcopdv [8e]^ StK'qv irepi he Brj rd So/ci/xa^o/zevov 
ovx olov re rjfilv dmarelv, cos ov Set rov ye ayadov 
989 ao^dv rjfids rjyelaQai, rrjv 8e ao(j>iav ravrrjv, tjv 
t,7jrovpbev TTaXai, Ihcojxev av Tror dpa eTTLVO-qaajpiev 
7j Kard TTaiheiav r) /cara rexyrjv, rjvrLva rod yiyvco- 
CT/cetv evheeZs dvreg rcov hiKaicov, ayva>p,oves dv 

^ 5e Mss. : 5r) Stallbaum. 

1 These later people, instead of attributing the highest 
power to the divine stars, attributed it to the ordinary 
physical forces ; cf. Plato, Laws, x. 888 ff. 



and whence, and to what kind of actions they pro- 
ceeded, they were spoken of in a manner not ap- 
proved or welcomed by the wise, nor were even 
the views of those who came later, among whom 
the greatest dignity was given to fire and water and 
the other elements, while the wonderful soul was 
accounted inferior ; and higher and more honoured 
with them was a motion assigned to the body for 
moving itself by heat and chills and everything of 
that kind, instead of that which the soul had for 
moving both the body and itself.^ But now that we 
account it no marvel that the soul, once it is in the 
body, should stir and move about this and itself, 
neither does our soul on any reckoning mistrust her 
power of moving about any weight. And therefore, 
since we now claim that, as the soul is cause of the 
whole, and all good things are causes of hke things, 
while on the other hand evil things are causes of other 
things hke them, it is no marvel that soul should be 
cause of all motion and stirring — that the motion 
and stirring towards the good are the function of the 
best soul, and those to the opposite are the opposite ^ 
— ^it must be that good things have conquered and 
conquer things that are not their like. 

All this we have stated in accordance with justice, 
which WTeaks vengeance on the impious : but now, 
as regards the matter under examination, it is not 
possible for us to disbeheve that we must deem the 
good man to be Ndse ; and let us see if we may 
perhaps be able, either by education or by art, to 
perceive this wisdom which we have all this while 
been seeking ; for if we fall behind the just in faihng 
to know it, our condition will be that of ignorant 

* The evil soul is just hinted at ; c/. Plato, Laws, x. 896-7. 



et/aev ovres roiovroi. doKovfiev S17 /iot, Acat 
Xeicreov' avco yap Kal koltoj t,rjrcov, jj ^J'Ot, Kora- 
^avrjs yiyove, Treipaao/xat St^At^v v\iiv avrrjv 
aTToreXelv. ro Srj fxeyiarov dperrjs ov KaXoJs 
TTparrofxevov rj/xtv yeyovev a'iriov, cLs apri cny/xat- 
vew €K rwv elpiqpLevcov /xoi a^ohpa hoKeZ. fiel^ov 

B fJ'€V yap dperrjs p^rjSels rip.ds nore Trelarj rrjs ev- 
ae^eias elvai rip dvrjTco yevei- tovto 8' otl Bl 
dfiadiav rrjv iieyiariqv ev rals dpicrrais <l>v(X€aiv ov 
yeyove, XeKreov. dpiarai 8' clalv at ;)^aAe77coTaTa 
fji€i> dv yevofxevat,, peyiarov 8e ocjieXos, dv yiyvcjvTai' 
rd T€ yap ttjs ^paSeuas re Kal rrjg evavrias <f>v- 
crecos /xerptoj? dTToSexopLevr] ipvxr) Kal Trpaios evKoXos 
dv €L7], rr^v re dvhpeiav dyafievq, Kal irpos ro 
aco^povelv evTreidris, Kal ro ye [xeytarov, ev ravrais 

C rals <j)vaeai bwap^evr] ixavddveiv Kal p^vrjpuyv 
ovaa, ev (jbdXa x^^ipeiv rovroLS avrols Bvvair dv 
^iXopiadrjS cjar elvai. ravra yap ovre pdSia 
(f)veadac, yevofxevd re, Kal rpo(f)fjs Kal TratSeta? 
rvxpvra, rjs Set, rovs rrXeiarovs avrcbv /cat x^tpovs 
Kare)(€LV opdorara Svvair* dv rw (f)poveXv /cat 
TTpdrreiv Kal Xeyeiv Trepl deovg eKaara, cLs Set re 
/cat ore Set, Trept dvalas re Kal Kadapfiovs rd)v 
Trepl deovg re Kal dvdpojrrovs, ov axrjP' re^yd- 

D ^ovras", aAAo. dX-qOeia rLfidJvras dper-qv, o St) /cat 
jxeyiarov ean ovp^Trdvrwv Trdar^ rfj TroXei. rovro 
Srj ovv ro /xepo? etrat <j>aixev <f)vaeL Kvpnararov 

1 Cf. Plato, PoUticus, 307 b ff., where the danger of an 
extreme development of such qualities as temperance, calm- 
ness, slowness, and of their opposites in the citizens of a state 
is expounded. 



persons. Such, then, seems our case to me, and I 
must say so : for I have sought this wisdom high and 
low, and so far as it has been revealed to me I will 
try to render it plain to you. Now the fact that the 
greatest part of virtue is not properly practised is the 
cause of our condition, as is just now indicated — it 
seems clear to me — by what has been said. For let 
no one ever persuade us that there is a greater part 
of virtue, for the race of mortals, than piety ; and I 
must say it is owing to the greatest stupidity that this 
has not appeared in the best natures. And the best 
are they which can only become so ^vith the greatest 
difficulty, and the benefit is greatest if they do 
become so : for a soul that admits of slowness and 
the opposite inchnation moderately and gently will be 
good-tempered^ ; and if it admires courage, and is 
easily persuaded to temperance, and, most important 
of all, is enabled by these natural gifts to learn and 
has a good memory, it will be able to rejoice most 
fully in these very things, so as to be a lover of 
learning. For these things are not easily engendered, 
but when once they are begotten, and receive due 
nourishment and education, they will be able to 
restrain the greater number of men, even the worse 
among us, in the most correct way by our everj' 
thought, every action, and every word about the 
gods, in due manner and due season, as regards both 
sacrifices and purifications in matters concerning gods 
and men ahke, so that we are contri\ing no hfe of 
pretence, but truly honouring virtue, which indeed is 
the most important of all business for the whole state. 
That section ^ of us, then, we say is naturally the most 

* i.e. those who possess the " natural gifts " mentioned in 
989 b. 



/cat Svvarov chs olov re /caAAicTra Acat apiora 
fxadeZv, el StSacr/cot ris' aAA' ou8' av hihd^eiev, ei 
fiTj 6e6s vcfyrjyo'iro' el S' ovv StSacncot, Kara rporrov 
he fiTj Spa) ro roiovrov, Kpelrrov fir] jxavdaveLV 
ofxcjs S' e/c roJv vvv Xeyojxevwv avayKiq jxadelv 
ravra /cat e/xe Xeyeiv rrjv roiavrrjv re /cat apLurrjv 

E (f)V(TLV. TTetpcofxeda 817 ro) re Aoyo) Sce^eXdeiv a 
t' ecTTt /cat Ota Kat cos Set p,avddvei.v, Kara BvvajJitv 
rrjV t' e/xi^v rou Xeyovros /cat ti7V Toiv hvvafxevojv 
990 elaaKOvaai, deoae^eias cprivt rpoTTCo rt,s riva 
fxa6i]aerai. axcSov p.ev ovv iarlv droirov a/cou- 
aavri' ro S' ovofia avrov Xeyopcev rjp^els ye, rt? 
ovK av rrore So^eie 8t' aTreipiav rod Trpayfxaros, 
dcrrpovofjiLav, dyvoel re, on ao(f)d)rarov avayKt] 
rov dXrjdciJs darpov6p,ov etvai, jxrj rov /ca^' 'HatoSoi' 
dcrrpovopLOVvra /cat ndvrag rovs roLovrovs, olov 
Bvajxds re Kat dvaroXds eTrecxKepbfJievov, dXXa rov 
rdjv OKrd) TTepioSwv rds errrd rrepioSovs, oieg- 
tovarjs rov avrcov kvkXov eKdarr]g ovrojs cos" ovk 

B ai^ paSlajs TTore rrdaa (f)vois cKavr] yevoiro decoprjaai, 
fir] davfiacrrrjs fiere)(ovGa (j>vaea>s. o vvv eiprfKa- 
fiev epovfiev re, ws (f)afiev, ottj] oet re Kat orro)S 
)(pe(hv fiavddveiv TrpdJrov 8' rjfilv roSe Xeyeauco. 

HeX-^vr] fiev rrepiohov rrjv avrrjs ra;(tCTra 8te^- 
eiaw, dyovaa firjva /cat navcreXrjvov 7Tpa)rr]V Bevrepov 
8e KaravoeZv Set rov r]Xiov, rporrds dyovra 8ta 
Trdcrrjs rrjs avrov Trepcodov, Kat rovrco rovs avv- 
Spofiovs' tva 8e fir] iroXXaKts ravrd Trept rdJv av- 

1 i.e. of the sun, the moon, and the five planets ; cf. 987 b. 
With the astronomy and mathematics of the rest of the 
Epinomis cf. Plato, Laws, vii. 818-820. 



competent, and supremely able to learn the best and 
noblest lessons that it may be taught : but it cannot 
get this teaching either, unless God gives his guid- 
ance. If, however, it should be so taught, but should 
fail in some way to do accordingly, it were better for 
it not to learn. Nevertheless it follows of necessity 
from our present statements, that I agree that the 
nature which is of this kind, and the best, should 
learn certain things. Let us try, then, to set forth 
in our statement what things these are, and of what 
kind, and how one should learn — so far as our ability 
permits both me the speaker and those who are able to 
hearken— in what manner one will learn the proper 
reverence of the gods. It is, indeed, a rather strange 
thing to hear ; but the name that we, at any rate, 
give it — one that people would never approve, from 
inexperience in the matter — is astronomy ; people 
are ignorant that he who is truly an astronomer must 
be wisest, not he who is an astronomer in the sense 
understood by Hesiod and all the rest of such writers, 
the sort of man who has studied settings and risings ; 
but the man who has studied the seven ^ out of the 
eight orbits, each travelling over its own circuit in 
such a manner as could not ever be easily observed 
by any ordinary nature, that did not partake of a 
marvellous nature. As to this, we have now told, 
and shall tell, as we profess, by what means and in 
what manner it ought to be learnt ; and first let us 
make the following statement. 

The moon travels through its orbit very swiftly, 
bringing first the month and full-moon ; and in the 
second place we must remark the sun, with his turn- 
ing motion through the whole of his orbit, and with 
him his satellites. But to avoid repeating again and 



C Tcov hiokeyuiiieOa, rag a'AAa? oaas iv rco TrpoaOev 
hie^riXdofxev oSoi)? rovrcov ov paSiov avvvoetv, 
inl 8e ravra 7TapaaKevdt,ovras (jyvaeig, oias 
hvvarov elvai,, XP^^^ ttoXXo. TTpoSi^daKovra Kai 
€dit,ovra det^ SiaTTOvrjaacrdai Tratha ovra Kat 
veaviaKov. 8i6 fjbadrjfxdTcov Seov dv eirj' ro 0€ 
/jbeyicrrov re Kal TrpdJrov Kal dpidp.ow avrojv, aAA 
ov aa>ixara ixo^ncov, dAAa oXr^g rrjs rod irepirrov 
re Kol dpriov yeveaeays re Kal Swd/xecos", ocrr]v 
TTapexerai Trpos rrjv rcov dvrcav (f)vatv, ravra 

T) 8e fjbadovn rovrots i<f)€^7Js iariv o KoXovai. jxev 
a(J)6Spa yeXolov ovoua yea>pierpiav, rcov ovk ovrcov 
Se ofxoLCjDV dAAT^Aois" <j)va€i dptdjjicbv o/xotcocns" Trpos 
rrjV rcov eTrnrehiov pboXpav yeyovvld lari Sta^avrys" 
o 87) davfxa OVK dvdpioTTivov dXXd yeyovos deZov 
(f)av€p6v dv yiyvoiro ra> hwapuivco avvvoelv. p,era 
8e ravrrjv rovs rpls^ r]v^rjjj,€vov9 /cat rfj arepea 
cf)va€L ofjboiovs, rovs 8e dvopcoiovs av yeyovorag 
irepa rexyj] opuoLol, ravrj) rjv hr] urepeop^erptav 

E eKdXeaav ol Trpoarvxel? avrfj yeyovoreg- o oe 
dciov r* earl Kal 6avp,aar6v rols eyKadopcboL re 
Kal Scavoovfxevois, d)S Trepl ro bnrXaaLov aei 
arpe(f)opievr)s rrjs Bvvdp,ecjs Kal rrjs e^ ivavrias 
ravrrj Kad^ iKdarrjv dvaXoytav eTSos Kat yevos 
991 diTorvTTOvrai irdaa rj (pvaLs. rj piev Stj rrpoirr] 
1 aei Burnet : Set mss. ^ rpls Bekker : rpeh MSS. 

1 Which means literally "measuring the earth"; this 
developed into the arithmetical calculation of squares, cubes, 
roots, etc. Cf. the account Plato gives {Theaet. 147 d flF.) of 
"quadrangular" and "equilateral" numbers, showing how 
the terms of geometry had to be used for arithmetic. As 
there was no number equal (or " like ") to the " square " root 
of 2, recourse was had to the geometrical symbol of the 



again the same things on the same subjects in our 
discussion, the other courses of these bodies that we 
have previously described are not easily understood. : 
we must rather prepare our faculties, such as they 
may possibly be, for these matters ; and so one must 
teach the pupil many things beforehand, and con- 
tinually strive hard to habituate him in childhood and 
youth. And therefore there vvill be need of studies : 
the most important and first is of numbers in them- 
selves ; not of those which are corporeal, but of the 
whole origin of the odd and the even, and the great- 
ness of their influence on the nature of reahty. When 
he has learnt these things, there comes next after 
these what they call by the very ridiculous name of 
geometry^ when it proves to be a manifest likening ^ 
of numbers not like one another by nature in respect 
of the province of planes ; and this vvill be clearly seen 
by him who is able to imderstand it to be a marvel not 
of human, but of diWne origin. And then, after that, 
the numbers thrice increased and like to the sohd 
nature, and those again which have been made im- 
like, he hkens by another art, namely, that which its 
adepts called stereometry ; and a divine and marvel- 
lous thing it is to those who envisage it and reflect, 
how the whole of nature is impressed with species 
and class according to each analogy, as power and its 
opposite ^ continually turn upon the double. Thus 

diagonal of a square whose side is 1 ; and similarly " cubic " 
roots were reckoned with the aid of stereometry. 

* "Likening" here means "comparing in an exact 
manner," so as to obtain a ratio or proportion between 
numbers not directly commensurable ; cf. Plato, Laws, viii. 820, 

• "Power" is multiplication, its "opposite" is extension: 

1 point doubled gives the beginning of a line ; multiplying 

2 by 2 gives 4 as a square surface, and by 2 again, 8 as the 
cube. So (see below) we proceed " from 1 to 8." 

VOL. VIII 2 1 481 


Tov SirrXacTLov Kar dpcdfxou ev rrpos Bvo Kara 
Xoyov <f>€poiJi€vr], SiTrAaatov 8e rj /caret, SvvafiLV 
ovara- rj S' els to arepeov re koL aTrrov ttoXiv av 
SnrXdaLov, d^' ivos els oktoj hiarropevdelaa' rj 
he SiTrXaalov p,ev els /xeaov, 'Icrcos Be rod eXdr- 
rovos TrXeov eXarrov re rod p,eil,ovos, ro 8' erepov 
rep avrcp fiepei rwv aKpcov avrcov VTvepey^ov re 
Koi VTTepexdp-evov ev necrco 8e rov e^ trpos rd 

B 8a»8e/ca ovve^rj ro re rjp,i6XLOv Kal eTvirpirov 
rovrcov avrcov ev ra> fieacp evr' dp,(f)6repa arpe- 
(jyop^evri roZs avdpcoTTOLS avpicjicovov )(pelav /cat 
avjxp,erpov dTTeveip,aro TraiBids pvdp,ov re Kal 
dppLovias ;)(dpiv, evBaipbovi p^opeta Movcrwv 8e8o- 
Hevr] . 

Taura jxev ovv Brj ravrrj yiyveadco re /cat ex^no 
avp,Travra' ro 8' CTTt rovroLs reXos, els Beiav 
yeveaiv dp,a /cat rrjv rcov oparwv KoXXiarriv re /cat 
deiordrrjv <j>vaiv Ireov, oarjv dvdpdonoLS deos eBcoKe 
KariBelv, rjv ovnore dvev rcov vvv BLeipiqp,ev(x)v pur] 

Q KariBdjv eTTev^rjrai rLS paorcJjvrj TrapaXa^elv . rrpos 
rovrois Be ro Kad" ev rep Kar e'LBri irpoaaKreov ev 
CKdarais rats cruvovaiaLs, eporrcjvrd re Kal eXey- 
Xovra rd p,r} KaXdJs prjdevra- Trdvrws ydp /caA- 
Xicrrrj /cat rrpcory] ^daavos dvdpcoTTOis 6pdd)s 
yiyverai, ocrat Be ovk oucrat irpocrrroLovvrai, paraio- 
raros ttovos dTrdvrcov. en Be rrjv d/cpt'jSetav rod 
)^p6vov rjptv XrjTTreov, cos dKpi^cos diroreXet Trai/ra 
rd Kar* ovpavdv yiyvopueva, IV d TTiarevaaSt d)S 

^ As between 3 and 6, 4 is greater than 3 by ^ of 3, and 
less than 6 by ^ of 6. 

* There were nine Muses, and they were often conceived 
as dancing in company with Dionysus. 



the first analogy is of the double in point of number, 
passing from one to two in order of counting, and 
that which is according to power is double ; that 
which passes to the sohd and tangible is hkewise 
again double, having proceeded from one to eight ; 
but that of the double has a mean, as much more 
than the less as it is less than the greater, while its 
other mean ^ exceeds and is exceeded by the same 
portion of the extremes themselves. Between six 
and twelve comes the whole-and-a-half (9 = 6 + 3) and 
whole-and-a-third (8 = 6 + 2) : turning between these 
very two, to one side or the other, this power (9) 
assigned to men an accordant and proportioned use 
for the purpose of rhythm and harmony in their 
pastimes, and has been assigned to the blessed dance 
of the Muses.2 

In this way then let all these things come to pass, 
and so let them be. But as to their crowning point, 
we must go to divine generation and there^vith the 
fairest and divinest nature of visible things, so far as 
God granted the vision of it to men ; a vision that 
none of us may ever boast of having received at his 
leisure without the conditions here laid down. And 
besides these requirements, one must refer the par- 
ticular thing to its generic form in our various dis- 
cussions, questioning and disproving what has been 
wrongly stated ; for it ' is rightly found to be 
altogether the finest and first of tests for the use of 
men, while any that pretend to be tests, ^v^thout 
being so, are the vainest of all labours. And further, 
we must mark the exactness of time, how exactly it 
completes all the processes of the heavens, in order 
that he who is convinced of the truth of the statement 

^ i.e. Plato's method of dialectic ; see General Introduction. 



D o Xoyos dXrjOrjs yiyovev, on Trpea^vrepov r' 
eaTLV afia /cat deiorepov ijj^xV crcofjuaros, rjy^aaLT^ 
av TTayKOiXcDs re /cat tKavcos elpijadai to decov 
elvat TTovTa nXea /cat /jLTj^eTTorc X-qdr] fxrjBe dfieXiia 
rcov Kpetrrovojv rjixoig TrapojXiycoprjadai. vorjreov 
8 icrrl Trept iravra rd roiavra roSe, ojs, edv piev 
Tis e/caora tovtcov 6pda>s Xap,^dv7]y pcey* o^eAoj 
ytyuerai rep TTapaXapb^dvovri Kara rporrov, el he 
p,rj, Oeov dpLeivov del KaXeiv 6 he rpoTTos ohe- 

E dvdyKrj yap ro ye roaovrov (j)pdt,eiv' ttoLv hidypap,p,a 
dpidpiov re crvar-qpia /cat appuovias avaraaiv 
diraaav rrjs re rcijv darpcov 7repL<f)opds rrjv opLO- 
Xoylav ovaav /xt'av aTrdvrcov dva(f)avrjvaL Set rat 
Kara rpoirov p^avdavovn, dva<j)avrjaeraL he, dv, 
o Xeyop,€V, opdibs ris el? ev ^Xerrcov pcavOavrj' 
992 Secr/xo? yap 7re<f)VK(hs rrdvrcov rovrcov els dva- 
(jtavrjuerai hiavoovpievoLS' el 8' aAAoJS" rrcos ravra 
pLerax^tpLelraL ris, rvx'rjv Set KaXeiv, wanep /cat 
Xeyopiev. ov yap dvev ye rovrcov piiqTTore ris ev 
TToXeaiv evhatpLCDV yevrjrai cf)vaLS, aAA' ovros 6 
rpoTTOS, avrrj rf^ rpo^rj, ravra rd piadrjp,ara, eire 
XO-XeTTa elre pahia, r avrrj TTopevreov dpLeXrjaat 
he ov depiLrov eari OeciJv, Kara^avovs yevopevrjs 
rrjs Trdvrcov avrcov Kara rporrov Xeyopievrjg (jyrjp.'qs 

B evrvxovs. rov he avpLTravra ravra ovrcos elXr)- 

(f)6ra, rovrov Xeyco rov 0X7)6 ear ar a aocfxvrarov' 

ov /cat huaxvpl^opiai TTait,cov /cat aTTOvhdt,cov a/xa, 

ore davdro) ns rdJv rotovrcov rrjv avrov puolpav 

' 17 Theo : om. mss. 

^ i.e. we must become aware of a single, unifying scheme 
of proportion I'unning through geometrical figures and propor- 
tions (" diagrams ";, arithmetical proportions (" systems 



which has been made — that the soul is at once older 
and more di\-ine than the body — might beUeve it a 
most admirable and satisfactory saying that all things 
are full of gods, and that we have never been dis- 
regarded in the least through any forgetfulness or 
neglect in our superiors. And our view about all 
such matters must be that, if one conceives of each 
of them aright, it turns out a great boon to him 
who receives it in a proper way ; but failing this, 
he had better always call it God. The way is this 
— for it is necessary to explain it thus far : every 
diagram, and system of number, and every combina- 
tion of harmony, and the agreement of the revolution 
of the stars must be made manifest as one through 
all ^ to him who learns in the proper way, and ^vill be 
made manifest if, as we say, a man learns aright by 
keeping his gaze on unity ; for it will be manifest to 
us, as we reflect, that there is one bond naturally 
uniting all these things : but if one goes about it in 
some other way, one must call it Fortune, as we 
also put it. For never, without these lessons, will any 
nature be happy in our cities : no, this is the way, 
this the nm-ture, these the studies, whether difficult 
or easy, this the path to pursue : to neglect the gods 
is not permissible, when it has been made manifest 
that the fanie of them, stated in proper terms, 
hits the mark. And the man who has acquired 
all these things in this manner is he whom I account 
the most truly wisest : of him I also assert, both in 
jest and in earnest, that when one of his hke com- 
pletes his allotted span at death, I would say if he 

of number"), harmonic proportions ("combinations of 
harmony ") — corresponding to square, line and cube referred 
to in 991 A — and the rotations of the stars. 



avaTTArjaei, ax^Bov edvirep eV aTTodavcov fj, [X'qre 
fxedd^etv eVt ttoXXojv rore Kaddirep vvv atad'qcrecov, 

fMlds T€ jXOLpas [Ji€T€l,Xrj(f)6Ta fJiOVOV Kal €K TToX- 

XaJv eva yeyovora, evhaipLovd re eaeadat /cat 
GOcpcoraTov dfxa /cat fxaKapiov , e'ire rts iv r^Treipois 
etT ev V7]croLs yua/captos" wv ^fj, KaKelvov ^ledi^eiv 

C Ty]s Toiavrrjs del rvx'fjs, Keire Sr]p,oaLa rts ctti- 
rrjdevaas ravra e'tre tSta Sta^to), rd avrd /cat coct- 
avrcxis avrov Trpd^eiv Trapd OedJv. o 8e /car' dp^ds 
re iXeyofiev, Kal vvv avros^ Trdpeari X6yo£ dXrjOrjs 
ovrcos, cos ov Svvarov dvdpojTTois reXecos p-aKaplois 
re /cat evSaLjxoai yeveadai TrX-qv oXiycov, eari ravra 
opddJs elprjpieva' ottogol yap Oeloi Kal aoj^poves 
aju,a rrjs dXXrjs re fierexovres dperrjs (f>vaei, irpos 

D Se rovroLS oaa fxadijfiaros e^erai fxaKapiov Trdvra 
eLXr](f)6res, a 8' eariv elpT^Kafiev, rovrotui puovoLS 
ra rod BaLfiovlov avp^Travra iKavcJos etXrjxe re Kal 
ex^i" TOLs fiev ovv ravra ovroi htaTTOvqaaaiv 
tSta Xeyo/xev Kal SrjfMoala Kara v6p,ov ridejxev, els 
TTpea^vrov reXos d(j)iKoixevoLS rds fxeylaras dpxds 
TTapaBlSoadai SeXv, rovs 8' aAAoDS" rovrois avv- 
eTTOfjievovs ev(f)r]iJieLV Trdvras deovs dpua Kal irdaas, 
/cat rdv vvKrepivov avXXoyov cttI ravrrjv rrjv 
cfo<f>iav LKavcvs yvovras re Kal BoKLfxdaavras 

Y, "^p-ds opdorara Trdvras irapaKaXeZv . 

^ avrbs Bekker : aiV^s Mss. 



still be dead, he will not partake any more of the 
various sensations then as he does now, but having 
alone partaken of a single lot and having become one 
out of many,^ will be happy and at the same time most 
v\-ise and blessed, whether one has a blessed hfe in 
continents or in islands ; and that such a man vvill 
partake always of the hke fortune, and whether his 
life is spent in a pubhc or in a private practice of these 
studies he will get the same treatment, in just the 
same manner, from the gods. And what we said at 
the beginning, and stands now also unchanged as a 
really true statement, that it is not possible for men 
to be completely blessed and happy, except a few, 
has been correctly spoken. For as many as are 
divine and temperate also, and partakers of virtue 
as a whole in their nature, and have acquired besides 
all that pertains to blessed study — and this we have 
explained — are the only persons by whom all the 
spiritual gifts are fully obtained and held. Those 
then who have thus worked through all these tasks 
we speak of privately, and pubhcly estabhsh by law, 
as the men to whom, when they have attained the 
fullness of seniority, the highest offices should be 
entrusted, while the rest should follow their lead, 
giving praise to all gods and goddesses ; and we 
should most rightly invite the Nocturnal Council to 
this vvisdom, when we have duly distinguished and 
approved all its members. 

^ i.e. having been singled out as fit to receive a rare 
blessing reserved for a chosen few. These few (see d, below) 
are to form the Nocturnal Council, which was briefly 
suggested at the end of Plato's Laws. 



Abaris, legendary northern hero, 

Achaeans, 131 

Achaemenes, ancestor of Persian 

kings, 165 
Aeacus, son of Zeus, 185, 359 
Aegina, 165 
Aegisthus, 359 
Aesop, 171 
Agamemnon, 359 
Agis, king of Sparta, 173 
Alclbiades (c. 450-404 B.C.), 95 ff., 

Alcmaeon, 247 
Alus, in Achaea, 396 
Amestrls, wife of Xerxes, 171 
Ammon, Ethiopian god, 265, 267, 

Amphilytus, a prophet in Athens, 

Amphion, son of Zeus, 308 
Anacreon of Teos, lyric poet (c. 

567-478 B.C.), 23, 291, 365 
Anagyrus, district of Attica, 371 
Anaxagoras, philosopher (c. 499- 

427 B.C.), X, 155, 313 
Aphrodite, 471 
ApoUodorus, 416 
Apollonius Rhodius, 416 
Archelaus, king of Macedonia (413- 

399 B.C.), 241, 359 
Archidamus, king of Sparta, 173 
Arginusae, near I.esbos, 377 
Argos, 359 
Aristeides, Athenian statesman (c. 

530-468 B.C.), 343, 379 
Aristogeiton, friend of Harmodius, 

Aristophanes, Athenian comic poet 

(c. 444-380 B.C.), xl 
Aristotle, xvii, 264, 417 


Artaxerxes, son of Xerxes, 165, 173 
Athamas, 397 
Athena, 271 
Augustus, 226 

Bacis, Boeotian prophet, 359 
Baslle, shrine of, 9 

Callaeschfl-us, father of Critias, 4, 

Calliades, father of Callias, 157 

Callias, Athenian general, 157 

Callicrite, 365 

Carthaginians, 397, 399 

Chaerephon, pupil of Socrates, 9 ff. 

Charmides, son of Glaucon and 
maternal uncle of Plato, 4 IF., 

Cimon, Athenian statesman .and 
admiral (c. 510-449 B.C.), 342, 365 

Clelnias (1), father of Alcibiade.s, 
99, 205, 241 ; (2) brother of Alcl- 
biades, 157 ; (3) the Cretan, 427 ff. 

Cleitomachus, 375 

Cnossos, in Crete, 413, 425 

Colophon, in lona, 376 

Corinth, 359 

Coronea, in Boeotia, battle of (447 
B.C.), 131 

Cratinus, comic poet (c. 519-422 

B.C.), 49 
Cratylus, ix 

Creon, uncle of Eteocles, 273 
Crete, 411 ff. 
Critias (c. 455-404 B.C.), son of Call- 

aeschrus and pupil of Socrates ; 

afterwards oligarch, 4 ff. 
Cronos, 293, 397 
Cyane, Sicilian nymph and mother 

of Callicrite, 365 


Cydias, 7th century pwt, 17 
Cypselus, father of Periander, 359 
Cyrus, king of Persia. 103 

Daedalus, legendary inventor of 

sculpture, 165 
Damon, Athenian musician and 

sophist, 155 
Deinomache, mother of Alcibiades, 

105, 171 
Delphi, inscription at, 47 S., 96, 

173, 195, 209, 291, 335; pro- 
phecies from, 473 
Demodocus, father of Theages, 

342 fl". 
Diomede, 271 
Dion of Syracuse (c. 408-353 B.C.), 

Dionysius, Athenian schoolmaster, 

Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse (431- 

367 B.C.), xiii 
Dionysus, 4S2 
Dropides, kinsman of Solon, 4, 23 

Egypt, 469, 472 
Ephesus, 377 
Erchiae, in Attica, 173 
Erechtheus, Athenian hero, 207 
Eteocles, king of Thebes, 2T3 
Euathlus, 375 
Eucleides of Megara, xiii 
Euripides (c. 485-407 B.C.), 135, 255, 

273, 308, 3til, 363, 402 
Europa, mother of Minos, 411 
Enrysaces, son of Ajax and Tec- 

messa, 165 

Frazer, Sir J. G., 9, 416 

Getae, Thracian race, 19 

Glaucon, the elder, father of Plato's 

mother, 4, 375 
Gorgias, of Leontini in Sicily, 

sophist (c. 490-395 B.C.), 231, 373 

Harmodios, friend of Aristogiton, 

Hephaestus, 165 
Heracleidae, 165 
Heracleitus, ix 
Hercules, 165 
Hermes, 291, 471 
Herodotus (c. 484-403 B.C.), 19, 24, 


Heroscainandrus, father of Nicias, 

Hesiod, 43, 411 S. 
Hesperus, 471 
Hipparchus, despot of Athens (527- 

514 B.C.), 276, 289 flf. 
Hippias, despot of Athens (527- 

510 B.C.), 293, 359, 361 
Homer, 35, 79, 131, 206, 234, 245, 

259, 261, 267, 271, 289, 323, 411 ff. 
Horomazes, father of Zoroaster, 167 

Ida, mountain in Crete, 425 
Ionia, 377 

Isolochus, father of Pythodoms, 

Jupiter, 466, 471 

Lacedaemon, 171 

Lampido, wife of Archidamus, 173 

Leotychides, father of Lampido, 

Lucian, 462 
Lucifer, 469, 471 
Lycaea, in Arcadia, 397, 399 
Lycurgus, Spartan lawgiver, 411 
Lysimachus, son of Aristeides, 379 

Maenalia, in Arcadia, 396 

Margites, 259, 261, 263 

Mars, 466, 471 

Marsyas, a satyr, 409 

>[egillus, the Spartan, 425 ff. 

Meidias, the quail-tilliper, 161 

Melesias, son of Thucydides, 379 

Mercury, 466 

Messene, 169-171 

Minos, king of Cnossos in Crete, 

387 ff. 
Minotaur, 419 
Muses, 117, 483 

Xemea, between Argos and Cor- 
inth, 375 
Nicias, son of Heroscamandrus, 377 

Odysseus, 131, 323 

Oedipus, 229, 239 

Oenopides of Chios, philosopher, 

Olympus, a Phrygian beloved of 

Marsyas, 409 
Orestes, 247, 249 



Panathenaea, Athenian festival, 289 
Parmenides, of Elea, philosopher, 

Peisistratus, despot of Athens and 

father of Hipparchus, 289, 359 
Peleus, son of Aeacus, 359 
Penelope, wife of Odysseus, 131, 

Peparethus, island ofTThessaly, 149 
Perdiccas, father of Archelaus, 309 
Periander, despot of Corinth, 625- 

68-5 B.C., 359, 361 
Pericles (c. 490-429 B.C.), 95, 101, 

103, 155, 157, 175, 249, 310, 342, 

Perictione, sister of Charmides and 

mother of Plato, 4 
Perseus, son of Zeus, 165 
Phaenarete, mother of Socrates, 207 
Philaidae, district of Attica, 289 
Philemon, 877 

Phrlxus, son of Athamas, 396 
Phryuichus, early Attic tragedian, 

Phthia, southern part of Thessaly, 

Plato, comic poet (c. 460-389 B.C.), 

Plutarch, 463 

Polus, of Acragas, sophist, 373 
Polynioes, brother of Eteocles, 273 
Potidaea, in Chalcidice, besieged 

by Athenians (432-430 B.C.), 8, 9 
Priam, king of Troy, 267 
Prodicus, of Ceos, sophist, 45, 373 
Ptolemies, kings of Egypt, 424 
Pyrilampes, uncle of Charmides, 

4, 23 
Pythagoras, 441 
Pythocleides of Ceos, musician, 

Pythodorus, friend of Zeno, 157 

Rhadamanthus, 411 ff. 

Salamis, 165 
Sannio, 377 
Saturn, 466, 471 
Sibyl, 359 

Sicilian Expedition (415-413 B.C.), 

Simonides, of Ceo.s, lyric poet (c. 

556-467 B.C.), 291 
Solon, Athenian lawgiver and poet 

(c. 638-555 B.C.), 4, 15, 23, 317 
Sophocles (497-406 B.C.), 363 
Sophron, x 
Sophroniscus, Athenian sculptor, 

father of Socrates, 164, 207 
Steiria, town in Attica, 291 
Syria, 469, 472 

Talos, 417 

Tanagra, in Boeotia, battle of (457 

B.C.), 131 

Taureas, an athletic trainer, 9 

Teiresias, 273 

Theages, son of Demodocus, 342 ff. 

Themistocles, Athenian statesman 
(c. 514-449 B.C.), 342, 365 

Theognis, of Megara, poet (c. 570- 
490 B.C.), 49 

Thespis, reputed founder of tra- 
gedy, 419 

Thrasyllus, (1) Athenian com- 
mander, 377 ; (2) scholar and 
friend of Augustus, 226, 345 

Thucydides, (1) Athenian historian 
(c. 470-396 B.C.). 293, 310, 376; 
(2) .son of Melesias, aristocratic 
leader in Athens (c. 490-430 b.c.) 

Timarchup, 375 

Trojans, 131, 267 

Venus, 466, 470 

Xanthippus, father of Pericles, 101 
Xenophon, Athenian soldier and 

writer (c. 444-356 B.C.), 227, 344 
Xerxes, king of Persia, 105, 171 

Zalmoxis, legendary hero of the 
Getae, 19 

Zeno of Elea, philosopher, 157 

Zethus, son of Zeus, 308 

Zeus, the Saviour, 57 ; the Liber- 
ator, 347 

Zopyrus, the Thracian, tutor of 
Alcibiades, 169 

Zoroaster, founder of the Persian 
religion, 167 

Printed in Great Britain hy R. & R. Clark, Limited, Edinburgh. 



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ton (15''6). Revised by S. Gaselee. (3rd Imp.) 
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Rev. H. F. Stewart and E. K. Rand. {2nd Imp.) 
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Woodward and Harold Mattingly. 
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PPAT7 NOV 4flB7 

JUN 1 1 1982 

JAN 9 1984